School runs and traffic jams

I’ve been coming to work late every Sunday (our work week start on a Sunday here in the Middle East) since the school opened again. I was late last week, was late again today. Commute to work is THREE times slower than normal…which is abnormal.

While stuck in the traffic jam, hopelessly letting out sighs of disbelief and surrender, I looked around and saw so many cars with children inside (some with only one child): parents or a team of driver and maid (common scenario here!) doing the school run. Parents who has the time to take their children to school before going to work or parents (moms) who stay at home.

I tweeted about it and a mom replied: “it’s about making the time to collect your own kids and ensuring their safety.”

I understand but sadly, this is not the case as I see so many parents letting their children loose inside their cars. Children in uniform and sometimes smaller non-school going siblings bouncing off the front seat. Also, it’s not like the buses are dangerous. The Roads and Transport Authority has enforced strict speed limits, bus facilities and dedicated drivers to man the school buses. Personally, my daughter’s school ensures the safety of the children with strict rules on seat belts and hiring a bus assistant (female) to supervise them inside the bus.

I am not saying everyone should send their children to school via the school bus because hey, there is no right or wrong – the right way is the one that works for your family. Parents can take their children to school in the way they feel is the safest. I’m just saying that as long as more and more parents choose to send their children to school using their own cars instead of greener collective transport, they will certainly contribute to more traffic.

(I can’t do the school run in the morning or pick up my daughter in school because of work but I do wake up very early to make her lunch box and so she can catch her bus at 6:40 am!)

Are you a parent in Dubai? Do you do the school run yourself or have your children take the school bus?

8 thoughts on “School runs and traffic jams

  1. My daughter is picked up by bus at 6:10 am and dropped back at 2 pm. Due to work too, it would be very difficult for us to bring and take her back from school. There are times though that we do the school run – waking up late, or as what had happened yesterday for her to miss her ride, waiting outside already for the bus when she said she needs to use the bathroom!

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    • That has happened to us too! πŸ™‚
      But right now, it’s really very difficult for me to drop her off in school because of the small baby at home. Also, I do not like how parents have to literally fight for a decent parking in the school parking lot.

      I see so many dangerous stunts done by parents: not parking properly and dropping off children in the middle of the road! It’s a battlefield out there.

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  2. my husband drops/picks-up our son to and from school… our two main reason for doing so is first, he have motion sickness (if he uses their school bus by the time he reaches school he will be exhausted or vomited already due to many stops to pick up/drop other kids on the way to and from school) secondly, their transportations fee is very expensive Dhs 7,800/year in addition to almost Dhs 25,000/ tuition fee…

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    • That is indeed a very expensive transportation fee. Do you live far from the school? We live just 10 minutes away (on a no traffic day) and we pay 5,500 dhs/year and I thought THAT was expensive!

      Great that your husband has the time to do the school run in the morning and after school pickup.

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      • we were living in Al Taawun Area, Sharjah before and his school is at Garhoud (so you can imagine how long it will take to reach school with the traffic) but we transferred 1 1/2 years ago here in Mirdiff, my son is very happy with the shorter trip now. Thank God my husbands work starts at 9am so he can drop him before going to work and pick him up during his lunch break, though there are occasions that his tied-up with work so my daughter (2 1/2 yrs) and I are the one who picks him up πŸ™‚

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  3. When my sister and I were in school, my mom used to drive us and pick us up 90% of the time, but she didn’t work and most everything she does is at home so she did have the time. I tried not to take advantage of that and I am still very grateful she did that nearly everyday for us!

    We did ride the school bus a lot early on and it was perfectly fine, if not a little long.

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    • If I have the time, I would take Pristine to school myself in the morning. I actually did a few years back and I enjoyed every minute of it. Traffic? It was an opportunity for us to sing more songs or tell stories inside the car. πŸ™‚

      But now with the whole new routine of having a small baby and crazy abnormal traffic in our area due to relocation of people from the other emirates to ours, taking her to school early in the morning is impossible.

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