School buses with new safety features set to make debut

Oman Tuesday 19/September/2023 22:15 PM
By: Times News Service/ With ONA inputs
School buses with new safety features set to make debut

Muscat: Each school day, thousands of children ride school buses across the Sultanate of Oman. Despite the safety measures, there have been tragic road accidents involving school buses in Oman. With children at risk, it’s important for safe and secure school buses.

Karwa Motors Company, the leading Omani company in the bus manufacturing sector, on Tuesday launched its latest model of school buses that is designed in accordance with the highest safety standards to ensure the safety of students while on the move. The latest school buses are expected to be rolled out in Oman’s domestic market by the start of 2024.

Dr. Ibrahim Ali Al Balushi, CEO of Karwa Motors told Oman News Agency (ONA) that Karwa school bus will be equipped with the latest safety devices and systems that are compatible with the system of “Darb Assalama” (safe journey), which was approved by the Ministry of Education.

Al Balushi pointed out that the step embodies Karwa’s commitment to ensuring the safety of students and advancing the requirements of educational institutions.

The top official of Karwa Motors Company added that the company will provide spare parts for the vehicles for a period of not less than 10 years, along with high-standard regular maintenance and after-sales services in all governorates of Oman.

Al Balushi said the new school bus production comes as part of its commitment to providing transportation solutions that are compatible with the requirements of the concerned authorities in the Sultanate of Oman and the regional market.

He added: “We designed the school bus after studying all the challenges of the school transportation sector in terms of public safety and its requirements. The bus will accommodate 23 students and the seating will have compatibility with Gulf Cooperation Council standards. It will also be equipped with internal and external surveillance cameras, a safe arrangement of passenger seats, the presence of an emergency port and a clear vision for the driver and passengers, and an automatic fire extinguishing system.

“The school bus will also feature high-quality air conditioning, safety doors lock, and a distinctive design of the side doors with a sensor system. It will also carry first aid boxes, an external sensor system, a bus location tracking system via GPS technology, and a system to monitor driver performance.”

Al Balushi said: “We expect Karwa school buses to be available in the local market starting at the beginning of next year.”

It may be mentioned that Karwa Motors Company began its production at its factory in the Special Economic Zone of Duqm last year.

The investment value of Karwa Motors stands at OMR71 million, as it is a joint venture between Oman Investment Authority (30 percent) and Mowasalat Qatar, the state-owned transport company of Qatar (70 percent).

The factory is established on an area of 568,000sqm and is designed to produce three different types of buses: city buses, school buses, and intercity buses, ranging in size from 8 to 12 metres with a seating capacity ranging from 25-55.

The factory’s production capacity is around 700 buses per year and the Duqm facility also provided buses to Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022.