MUMBAI: As schools reopening is a possibility for the city in the near future, school bus owners are worried about being able to sustain operations and the costs of getting back on the road. Associations have demanded that the education department also issue a standard operating procedure to ensure students’ and employees’ safety onboard.
When physical classes were suspended at the beginning of the lockdown in March, most schools waved off school bus fees. As a result, the school bus owners have not been able to pay their staff for the past few months.
Bus owners said it would be difficult to manage expenses even if parents started paying fees. “Diesel prices are up by Rs 16 from last year. With fewer students, costs will increase. Our buses have been off the roads for so many months, we would have to get new insurance, fitness certificates, etc. All these are added costs,” said Anil Garg, president of School Bus Owners Association.