New Data: Do School Traffic Habits Cause Morning Traffic Jams?

  • 2/3 of students get transported in private vehicles
  • Low rates of school bus, public and alternative transport
  • 4 out of 10 cars carry just 1 student, 8 out of 10 cars 1-2 students

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, : In October 2020, Noor Takaful | Ethical Insurance and RoadSafetyUAE shared part 1 of the results of the UAE’s ‘first-ever’ car occupancy survey, showing the UAE’s dependency on private cars, which is high on global level at 74% (54% drive themselves + 20% passengers in private cars). The use of public transportation is low on global level at 22% (13% bus, metro + 9% taxis, limos, vans/minibuses). Also low is the use of alternative means of transportation at only 4%.

In Part 2 of the survey, we want to zoom in on a key morning rush-hour ingredient namely the UAE school transportation patterns. The dependency on private cars is also extremely high at 66% (36% performing dedicated school runs in private cars + 19% combine school runs with the daily office commute in private cars + 11% state their driver performs dedicated school runs in private cars).

The utilization of other forms of transportation pales in comparison: school bus (16%), taxi/limo/private van (9%), public transportation (6%) and alternative modes of transportation (3%).

q6d. During a working week when you have to make school runs, which of the following statements, best describes what you do MOST often?
I am dropping / picking up my child/children to/from school in my/our own car36%
Me or driver drops/picks child/children on the way to my work / from my work in my/our own car19%
Our driver is dropping / picking up my child/children to/from school in my/our own car11%
A school bus is dropping/picking up our children from/to school16%
A taxi/limo/private van is dropping/picking up our children from/to school9%
My child/children use public transportation from/to school6%
My child/children walk or or use bicycle, scooters, etc. from/to school3%

In the above mentioned 65% private car use, the number of transported students is low. In almost 80% of cars just one or two students get transported (41% carry 1 student and in 38% carry 2 students).

q8d. On a typical day, how many children are there in your car while dropping/picking up from/to school?
more than 43%

Rajesh Sethi, CEO of Dar Al Takaful, the holding company of Noor Takaful states: “It is important to teach our children about sustainability and responsibility. These values are also at the core of our company as we embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability principles. In this context we are a bit concerned to see a very high degree on individual traffic and very low utilization of vehicles in school transportation. A high number of vehicles in rush hour can cause traffic congestion and also contributes to avoidable pollution. Ideally, we would like to see more sustainable school transportation as a responsibility show case for our children.”

Thomas Edelmann, Founder & Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE adds, “We are grateful for the committed support of our CSR-Partner Noor Takaful | Ethical insurance on this important topic. Certainly, the high number of private cars used for school runs and the low utilization with mainly 1 – 2 children on board adds to the morning congestion on UAE roads. From a road safety perspective, we wish for fewer vehicles on the roads and we would like to see more students using school buses, public transportation and alternative forms of transport, where possible. In addition, the society would benefit from reduced air pollution. Just imagine how many private cars a fully filled school bus can take off the road, these buses are operated by certified professional drivers and are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features to safeguard our children and the per capita eco-footprint is much smaller compared to individual cars. We would like to see creative solutions from the stakeholders to move away from individual transportation towards aggregated transportation.”

Steve Burnell, Managing Director of School Transport Services (STS), also a CSR-Partner of RoadSafteyUAE comments from his point of view: “Growth in school bus transportation is critical to the health and wellbeing of our citizens in the UAE. Not only is it a requirement by many parents as the only form of transport to have safe access to schools, it is also a fundamental part of the UAE’s 2030 vision on sustainability, de-carbonation, road traffic and congestion reduction. Continuous engagement with the education sector, parents and students on the benefits of the school bus, and public transport in general, is vital on so many levels with the potential to deliver transformational change linked to health and wellbeing, sustainability and transport development.”

This survey commissioned by Rawdha Al Sakit, Head of Marketing at Noor Takaful | Ethical insurance and RoadSafetyUAE was conducted by a global, online research company in March 2020 with a UAE representative sample of 1,005 respondents.

RoadSafetyUAE’s vision is to contribute to reducing the number of road traffic fatalities, injuries and accidents in the UAE. RoadSafetyUAE’s mission is to raise the awareness for proper conduct on our roads, in an engaging manner and on a broadly communicated and permanent basis. RoadSafetyUAE’s award-winning platform engages with the stakeholders traffic participants, governmental entities, the media, and more than 20 corporate social responsibility (CSR) minded partners. ‘Tips & Tricks’ are the content backbone, provided for more than 60 topics of road safety, all specifically relevant to the UAE. More can be found on  

Noor Takaful Family & Noor Takaful General are sister companies, established in early 2009, Noor Takaful provides a wide range of customized solutions for both personal and business takaful, including car, medical, travel, life, family, corporate and SME takaful products. Noor Takaful’s easy-to-use online platform makes getting insurance coverage easy, transparent and quick. Making sure you get your insurance card and stay prepared in case there is any uncertain incident, is a good idea.

Following Dar Al Takaful’s acquisition of Noor Takaful, the joint entity launched a Stronger Together campaign to highlight the combined capabilities of the organizations. The campaign emphasizes the vision of the combined entities (protection and peace of mind) and introduces a diversified suite of products and services for individuals and corporates, delivering genuine value for customers. 

*Source: AETOSWire

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