Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy » Buses continue runs, more depots designated
Dec 22, 2005

Buses continue runs, more depots designated

Story PictureOfficials from the Ministry of Finance, the Development Finance Corporation, and Atlantic Bank spent most of today in meetings to try and find a way to salvage operations at the Novelo’s Bus Line receivership and get back some of the millions of dollars the company owes its creditors. While there seems to have been no breakthrough yet, today the Ministry of Transport and the Transport Board continued to carry out its contingency plan for bus commuters by using other bus lines. Collectively, the smaller companies moved some five thousand passengers on Wednesday, much less than the normal number of travellers when schools are in session. Commissioner of Transport, Phillip Brackett says with the exception of some glitches in Belmopan and Belize City during the evening peak times, overall, operations went well. Today the only change was one of location from the main staging area at the Pound Yard to three other points for commuters leaving Belize City. Anyone heading north will now depart from the bus terminal on Mosul Street, those going south from the Constitution Park near the Matron Roberts Health Centre, and those travelling west are leaving from in front of the original Novelo’s terminal. Bracket and Chairman of the Transport Board, Cedric Borland, held an informal press conference today at the Transport Department offices on Freetown Road. They admitted the stop gap measures are working, but say there needs to be a permanent solution in place before school resumes in January.

Phillip Brackett, Commissioner of Transport
?We think the Transport Department and the board has done extremely well given the circumstances. The issue of course is tied to the D.F.C., is tied to the Atlantic Bank which are serious financial issues, which of course do not come under us and of which we have little authority or responsibility for.?

?The board and the department moved, I think professionally. The board kept in good faith at all times, acted in good faith. But at the end of the day we had to make sure that people were moving. If people cannot get to work, cannot get to school, the economy suffers and there?s a whole free fall as a result of that. We did what we had to do.?

Karla Heusner
?In terms of the currently arrangement with the companies, are there any fees being paid to them or are they just picking up the fares? Is there any financial arrangement in the budget that?s required??

Phillip Bracket
?No, no. The commuters will pay them.?

Karla Heusner
?So you?re not incurring any cost by doing this??

Phillip Bracket
?No.?

Cedric Borland, Chairman, Transportation Board
?In fact, what the board has considered really is awarding some temporary permits, because no bus can run on the road taking fare paying passengers without a permit. And so these buses that are on the road are those of existing providers and they have been awarded temporary permits to move people during this crisis.?

Karla Heusner
?There?s no contractual arrangement with them??

Cedric Borland
?No there is not and they are fully aware that this is a temporary measure. Government has taken this quite seriously and a solution needs to be reached pretty soon; definitely before schools are reopened.?

Commissioner Brackett also wants to remind the public that although there is a lot of attention being paid to the bus situation, sobriety checkpoints will be on the nation’s highways over the holidays and traffic laws will be enforced. In other news related to the Novelo’s closure, the Social Security Board has responded to claims made by some of their former drivers that the receivership had not been making adequate contributions on their behalf. A release from S.S.B. says the Novelo’s Bus Company has been paying contributions for all its employees since the receivership took over and they are up to date with both payments and contribution statements. The complainants are asked to visit their nearest Social Security Board branch for a revised contribution history.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*