Schools hike annual fees for transportation

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Schools hike annual fees for transportation
By Preeti Kannan / KHALEEJ TIMES 24 August 2007

DUBAI — As students gear up for the new academic year, their parents are faced with yet another ‘extra expense’ with many schools reportedly choosing to increase transportation fees.

It is learnt that Emirates International School (EIS) has hiked the annual transportation fee from Dh3,300 to Dh5,250 and Dubai International Academy (DIA) from Dh3,300 to Dh5,200. Also, the International School of Choueifat, Dubai, has upped it from Dh3,000 to Dh3,300, while Delhi Public School (DPS) Dubai is learnt to have hiked the fees by Dh150 on some select routes.

DPS Dubai’s rates have changed from Dh 1,650 to Dh1,800 on the Deira and Ghusais routes, while the fee for Bur Dubai and Satwa routes has gone up from Dh1,500 to Dh1,650.

An official from the school, who didn’t want to be named, pointed out that the diesel costs had prompted the move.

Be that as it may, the hike in transportation fees has added to the parents’ cup of woes.

“Any change in the transport fee does pinch our pockets. Already there are so many expenses to be incurred during the course of the year. However, as parents, we have no choice but to depend on the school buses to ferry our children,” says a parent, KN, whose ward is studying in the International School of Choueifat, Dubai.

Another parent, whose child studies in DIA and who didn’t wish to be named, also echoed similar views. “It does upset our budgets when there is such an increase. Nevertheless, we would have to bear the cost if we want to use the school bus.”

Transport company Diamondlease, which provides buses to EIS, Meadows, EIS Jumeirah and DIA, confirmed that the fees have been increased. However, company officials justified the hike, claiming that it was long due because operational costs had gone up considerably.

“We had not increased our rates since DIA started a few years back. The overall operational costs like hiring of drivers, accommodation and visas for them have gone up. Also the time taken to pick up and drop children is longer now. It is financially not viable for us to run buses at a low cost,” said a senior representative of the company, who did not wish to be named.

The principals of EIS Jumeirah and Meadows, however, refused to comment.

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