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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

In a first, Mumbai’s school buses will get separate stops

mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2019 00:00 IST

For the first time, school buses in and around the city will get dedicated bus stops, similar to the ones for buses, taxis and autorickshaws. Parents would have to pick and drop their children from these stops, once the locations are finalised.

After the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA), in a recent meeting, gave its nod to set up more than 200 such stops across the MMR, the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) have begun to identify the locations for the stops.

MMRTA also directed RTOs to ensure that the stops are safe for children and they won’t have to cross the roads and to consider the school timings.

The decision comes in the wake of directives issued by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court (HC) last year, in which it had directed the authorities to dedicate stops for school buses to ensure the safety of children. As per the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules, 2011, authorities have to consult schools and specify locations exclusively for school buses, considering the school timings and safety of the children. “Parents, schools and bus operators can write to the RTOs about their suggestions and we will consider them positively,” said Abhay Deshpande, regional transport officer, Andheri RTO, and spokesperson, motor vehicle department.

RTO officials will hand over the list of spots to the civic body and traffic police, who will put up signs and take other necessary steps. However, RTOs admitted that there are practical difficulties in identifying the school bus stops, as buses have different routes, based on the convenience of parents and bus operators.

School bus operators have welcomed the decision. “If implemented properly, the move will be a boon for us, schools and parents, and will ensure the safety of children,” said Ramesh Maniyan, joint security, School Bus Operator Association.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 00:00 IST

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