Schools hint at increasing transport fee

 04 May 2014 - 4:16


DOHA: The 50 per cent hike in diesel prices imposed last week may have a direct impact on families, with some schools indicating that they would be forced to hike the transport fees, if the Supreme Education Council (SEC) approves it.
Enquiries in the market also revealed that some car rental companies have already raised their charges for vehicles using diesel, to keep up with the 
price hike.
Schools hiring buses from private transport companies have come under pressure because the companies have started asking for a hike in rentals.
Official of a private school said yesterday that the school management is expected to discuss this issue in the next few days.
“The sudden jump in diesel prices has come as a shock to us. We hire the services of over 60 buses from different private transport companies, and they have already started calling us for a hike in rentals citing the sharp increase in diesel prices,” K Joseph, Manager (Administration) of Birla Public School (BPS), which has a fleet of 160 school buses, told this daily.
“I have informed the school’s senior management about this. The management is expected to meet within a day or two to address this big challenge,” said Joseph. 
Asked if the school is looking forward to increasing the monthly transport fees for students, he said: “Currently we are charging about QR200 for each student who are availing of the bus service, but any increase in that amount is subject to prior approval from the Supreme Education Council.”
Schools may not be able to increase the fees immediately, since the procedure for getting an approval would take at least a year, in normal cases. It is, however, not clear whether the SEC would give any special approval in view of the hike in diesel prices.
An official of a car rental company said it had already revised the prices for diesel-fuelled vehicles. “We have revised the prices for new contracts being signed for the lease of diesel-operated vehicles due to the hike in the prices,” said Ziad Usman, Assistant General Manager of Al Muftah, a leading car rental company, which also provides diesel-run vehicles with fuel and driver. 
“For the contracts that we signed before the hike, we are bound to abide by the old rentals mentioned in agreements, but for the new contract we are charging between QR100 and QR150 more depending on the consumption of diesel,” he added. Analysts believe that the increase in diesel prices will trigger inflation.
The Peninsula