CitCo lifts moratorium on taxi licenses in Belize City
The Belize City Council has been tackling for the past two years the issue of an overflow of taxi licenses in the Old Capital. It issued a moratorium on issuing licenses in 2014 and has been meeting with taxi unions and individual operators, especially for the last six months, to develop further regulation and ensure that this important form of transportation remains a special service from which people can make a proper living. This afternoon, Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley hosted a press conference in the downtown Battlefield Park, where he announced some of the key changes.
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor
“One of the systems that councillor has really spearheaded is to ensure that the control for the issuing of taxi plates passes to taxi unions. And that is something that we will guarantee and assure that any single person hence forth who want a taxi plate within Belize city to operate within Belize city must be a registered member of one of the recognized taxi unions within Belize City. And this is something that we had discussed back and forth because we want to endure that the taxi unions are recognized for the important role that they play in creating a new system. A union provides recognition; a union provides structure, quality assurance, I am looking here right now and I am seeing several members of various taxi unions in their various nicely decorated shirts. So that is that kind of culture and spirit that we would want to encourage, not that we want every single person to enter this area but we want there to be a substantial amount of recognition for the existing unions.”
Bradley said that the Council will consider letters of recommendation from the unions, but he warned that the current unions should not dilute their membership and allow “all and sundry” into their unions, which he warned might result in unwelcome changes including possible rises in fares. He also asked the current unions to continue in dialogue with the Council with regard to improving the maintenance of vehicles, ethical standards and marking out and enforcing marked spaces for the various taxi unions.