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Nov 24, 2014

Belize City Taxi Drivers Take on CitCo and Transport Department

Taxi drivers from various associations and unions across Belize City converged on B.T.L. Park this afternoon, where they met with representatives of the Belize City Council and the Transport Department.  The focus of the public consultation was to discuss an existing moratorium on the issuance of taxi license plates.  According to Alifa Elrington-Hyde, Councilor Responsible for Traffic, the suspension was already in effect when they were elected to City Hall in 2012.  The issue of the moratorium is only one of the myriad of problems facing the taxi operators who were frank in their opinions during the meeting.

 

Gilbert Domingo, Taxi Operator

Gilbert Domingo

“I went through the process of trying to get this taxi license the right way, of which was prescribed by you guys. First of all, when I went to the office, they said you need certain vehicle. I went and I got that vehicle. I went to Mister Jefferies and I said I got wa vehicle and I need wa license. I said I got wah Astro Van. He tell me straight up, I noh the license Astro Van as taxi. I went the extra mile and I bought a Lincoln Town Car and bring it back to Mister Jefferies and said I got a town car now. Mister Jefferies look pan me and say yo know what we noh wah license you because you fi go dah town. Now I done made my investment already and I have the car. Anyway, that didn’t work out, but I notice one of my colleagues got a license for taxi, just get a car from states and I want know weh gone on because me and you dah the same. What I the preference. What do you need to have or is required to make yourself appear different or get treated differently and that kinda stuck with me. Anyway, I get the taxi permission, I have the letter, I do everything and at the end of the day, I still up to this day—with the permission of the union and their letter—still looking stupid trying to get a license. And I feel like that as a Belizean is kinda vile.”

 

Crispin Jefferies

Crispin Jefferies, Transport Commissioner

“The Department of Transport is not the municipal authority. A piece of legislation was passed which gave the responsibility for the municipalities to be in charge of traffic for the city. Since 2008, the licensing of motor vehicle and late 2008-2009 was given over to the municipalities. The municipalities were given a set of guidelines by which they should operate in terms of granting license. Subject to the laws, a taxi is a vehicle that has five plus one capacity.; we have been working with that. in the last twenty years, there has been a fleet of taxis operating in the Corozal district that has a minimum capacity of eight—that have been operating as taxis. What is a taxi? A taxi falls as a public service vehicle. the different size of seating capacity requires that once you have surpassed six plus one, you need a road service permit.”

 

The Belize City Council says it will take into consideration suggestions made by the taxi operators in lifting the moratorium.

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2 Responses for “Belize City Taxi Drivers Take on CitCo and Transport Department”

  1. belizeanatheart says:

    I think it is important that any entity that regulates us needs a level of consultation, if people say no that law affects our development or goes again our own situation we give proper procedure to implement or not. This is not a dictatorship where any public organization does not only put things without the people accepting it. We do know sometimes things are good, but they should not at the detriment of our own people. Why do we put things more hard for our people while we do not regulate other things that are more important.

  2. Sam says:

    Please no more in Belize city- they break all he laws and take up all parking and are rudest drivers

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