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Dec 9, 2016

Transport Minister Explains New System for Bus Fares

Edmond Castro

It has been over a month since Belizean commuters have seen bus fares go up in most of the country. They have complained that there is no justification, since fuel prices are trending down and the service provided by operators has not discernibly improved. However, Minister of Transport Edmond Castro told the House of Representatives in response to a question that the “re-balancing” of fares is a natural result of prices not keeping up with the times. He added that the Ministry will hold bus operators to their promises of keeping up service befitting the new monies that commuters are paying.

 

Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport

“We tried to stabilize the bus prices for regular public transportation in this country. In 2010, we tried to verbally stabilize it at ten cents per mile; they still bawl, say dehn no di mek no money, dehn can’t improve dehn bus – how you expect them to improve the quality of service, when the cost of fuel back then and the cost of fuel now is almost triple? The cost of tire which was two-sixty-five then, the cost of a tire in 2010, 2015 is five hundred dollars. So we have to give and take. But in order for us to come up with a decent fare for commuters, we said, you know what, we cannot go over twelve to fourteen cents per mile. And we worked it out together collectively with bus operators from North to South, all the way from Belize City to Benque – we sat down, we consulted, we did the maths, we worked it out, so we said aha – so, if we – in some areas there has been a slight increase, in the South we are experiencing some decrease; in some areas where it was out of whack at the twenty-eight, twenty-nine cents per mile, that came down. If they are now at a point where they are not making a loss; so we now, as the enforcement aspect, we need to make sure that we enforce the rules – no standees; we are pushing them to sell tickets so that when you buy ticket, you know you have a seat that is guaranteed, and you no have to the stand up on the bus, di walk back and forth; over a fifty-mile period, you di walk twenty-five miles. Stop dah foolishness, Mr. Bus Operator; come mek wi sit down, mek wi work this thing out, and so that we can provide better quality service, for the people that we serve.”

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1 Response for “Transport Minister Explains New System for Bus Fares”

  1. Mike G. says:

    Let me see if I get this right? The public has to pay the bus owners in advance on a “promise” that the bus owners will improve their fleet of dilapidate, retired school busses . . . and this “deal” was brokered by one of those “Honorable” politicians that has already proven his untrustworthiness on more than one occasion. Am I getting this right? Unbelizeable! That’s not how a proper business is run. Improve your fleet and service and then you can ask politely for a raise which the consumers will approve if your service meets their expectation. What a scam!

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