The School Bus Ownersalt39 Association ( SBOA) has again demanded a second hike in bus fees for school children by almost 25% even though the fees have already been raised by Rs 250 to Rs 300 and the same woul

d be implemented from June 1.

SBOA has demanded a second hike as they will have to run their business at a loss as they canalt39t afford structural changes in buses as per new rules in the school bus safety policy.

” Obviously, we will have to depend on parents to fund the changes, we are going to declare our final stand on this issue on June 3,” said SBOA president Anil Garg.

The association said operators will have to invest Rs 25,000 extra on each bus to implement the changes.

” Other changes like fitting hand- rails, vertical poles and making emergency exits will incur a lot of cost” added Garg.

According to him, after the School Bus Safety Policy was introduced in 2011,

most bus operators had already started making changes in their respective buses. He added that rules like installation of bag racks beneath seats, vertical poles inside the bus, low foot- board and the likes, are only making us pay more and more.

According to Automobile experts and RTO officials, the prices quoted by SBOA are impractical. If the operators send an entire batch of buses to the same manufacturer, this cost can be further minimised.

The bus owners need to act quickly as transport department has made it mandatory for them to fit in a speed control unit for all the vehicles except two wheelers and taxis. The decision will be implemented from June 1.

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