The Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) announced that new school buses have arrived for use in basic education schools (BES) in Yangon.
Government schools reopened on 1 June and were greeted with the usual traffic jams in front of school buildings. There is also a concern for safety with the light truck vehicles used for student transportation. To solve these two issues, the Yangon Region Government signed a contract with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Posco Daewoo Corporation to purchase 200 school buses, which are intended to slowly replace the light trucks.
Hyundai Co. announced that their 28-seater school buses have arrived and they are the latest Hyundai County Bus 2017 model. Each vehicle costs and estimated US$ 36,840 and are granted lowered taxation.
“We’re not saying that these vehicles were a required purchase. The government purchased these vehicles to meet their set safety standards. If schools are interested in purchasing these vehicles, the government is ready to give out bank loans for them. Since these vehicles were purchased from government to government, they will be resold at an affordable price with guaranteed after sale services. Some schools have offered to purchase the new school buses with an installment plan. Even if schools are unable to afford these new buses, they can deploy vehicles like minibuses, the super custom or the Toyota HiAce instead of light trucks or similar vehicles. But they will be required to have CCTVs and GPS tracking systems installed,” said an official from YRTA.
Officials from schools have voiced their interest in using the new school buses for school transportation but, as of yet, they cannot afford the price of brand new vehicles. Similarly, owners of the current transportation system have difficulties in replacing their present vehicles with minibuses.
School principals, parents of students and current school transportation officials are required to form a School Committee and submit a plan for school transportation to the Regional Government for the current school year. After discussions with officials from BES schools, it has been announced that use of current vehicles, labeled unsafe for student transportation, will be allowed until December of this year, with permission denied starting from 2018. Officials from YRTA say this means there is enough time for schools to make plans for future school transportations. They also advise schools unable to afford new school buses to negotiate with minibus owners for their transportation plan.
Su Hnin Le