We caught up with Steve Burnell, Managing Director – School Transport Services (STS), to learn more about the safety measures that have been implemented in school buses as well as an educational programme being promoted by the company.
The STS team has a tremendous responsibility to ensure that we provide our services in line with our values – Safe, Timely, Smart – and with our parents’ expectations of caring for their children on our services to and from school every day. Our teams care for close to 85,000 students across 83 UAE schools and they are the main reason for our success in the transport service market for both GEMS and non-GEMS schools. We strive for service excellence and constantly review how we provide services to ensure that we evolve in line with our customers’ expectations.
”STS has a responsibility to develop a safety mindset that promotes, educates, and embeds the importance of road safety to all of our stakeholders. We must continuously review how we act and what impact our programmes have on our people, customers, and citizens. After all, we are responsible for the safe transport of the leaders of tomorrow,“ says Steve. STS’s recent initiatives have begun to create an interest in road safety advocacy in its employees and the students it transports around the UAE every day.
One of the new and innovative educational programmes recently developed by STS – with the support of the Roads and Transport Authority – to create road safety awareness among students is the STS Smart Safety Bus. The educational bus is the first of its kind in the UAE and is packed with fun interactive safety games. The messaging revolves around the importance of wearing seat belts, following road rules and how one should behave while travelling on a bus. The Smart Safety Bus has already started visiting schools supported by STS and will continue through the next academic year.
STS strives to stay ahead of the competition and it accomplishes this by the quality of services it provides. ”We have started to upgrade our bus fleet with new smart bus technology to further support and monitor our services. In addition to the bus GPS tracking and CCTV systems we provide, we have started installing driver monitoring technology, these are important systems that allow us to monitor driving standards and develop our drivers. We have also introduced RFID student cards (similar to a RTA metro NOL card), all student data is on their card so when they board a bus and check in, the technology lets us know exactly which bus the student is on and when they boarded and arrived at school or home. With the launch of our new app in September, parents will be able to see bus journeys in real time and that their child has checked in plus there are a host of other great functions. We’ve integrated the STS App with the GEMS Connect app, but we also have it as a standalone app for our non-GEMS schools,“ explains Steve.
Student safety has always been STS’s top priority and it takes this responsibility seriously. STS has recently been accredited with ISO 39001 – Road Traffic Safety Management and this enhances its other ISO programmes that support its integrated management systems. Stay up-to-date with STS’s exciting new projects and student information by joining its social media network –@sts_ae on Instagram / Myschoolbus on Facebook