Entities interested in operating school buses are invited to come and discuss the issue with the Central Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles, according to an official.
“The union minister [for transport] has directed us at an internal meeting to be more engaged with individuals or organisations that want to operate school buses. For instance, points like taking responsibility for specific townships,” U Hla Aung, chairman of the committee, better known by its Myanmar acronym Mahtatha, told Myanmar Business Today.
Currently, private smallholders are using mostly light trucks as school buses or “school ferries” as they are commonly known in Myanmar, to service schools.
At a recent seminar on expediting public transportation, the attendees requested a systematic school bus group be set up to ensure better safety and less strain on the heavy traffic of Yangon.
The Yangon Region government and the Ministry of Education are paying attention to this request and discussing to find ways to resolve it, U Hla Aung said.
“When a proposal for a start-up school bus operation is received, the government will also sometimes assist with issues regarding vehicle imports and taxation. The Road Transport Administration Department doesn’t currently impose registration fees on imported passenger buses,” he said.
According to 2013 statistics from the Subcommittee for Traffic Rules Enforcement and Education, there are 780 registered school buses in Yangon region, most of which are light trucks. But some private schools have started using minibuses as school busses to provide better safety for the students.
School bus operators charge K15,000 to K30,000 ($15-30) a student per month based on the distance between the student’s home and the school.