David and Tony Novelo double fares for bus route
The price of fuel keeps soaring, premium is selling for a whopping ten dollars and forty nine cents per gallon. Just about everything is going up and if you ride the City, bus you might just have to dig deeper in your pocket. Since Wednesday, a number of commuters, adults as well as school children, have been paying double the fares for a certain route. The price hike was sneaked in by Arrowline, a new service owned by David and Tony Novelo for a route we are told, has not yet been approved by the City Council’s Traffic Department. News Five Marion Ali has this story.
Belize City residents who use the city buses, primarily the Downtown run that goes to West Landivar, are concerned over what seemed to them to be an overnight price hike. Commuters say that the price hike from a dollar for adults has been doubled to two dollars and a dollar for children. They also say that the buses charging the new prices are the ones operated by Lopez Shuttle, owned by Carlos Lopez. But when News Five tracked down Lopez today, we discovered that he has nothing to do with the new prices or the buses.
Carlos Lopez, Owner, Lopez Shuttle
“My prices stays the same at a dollar for adults and fifty cents for kids. I’ve had several people come to my house last night, several people called inquiring about why Lopez Shuttle raised the price. I want the public know today that the buses that Lopez Shuttle is using is two yellow and white bus and one blue and white bus. The buses that are marked Belize Diesel is not owned by Lopez. Hopefully within a month, all the busses will be painted while based with a yellow stripe.”
“These are not your buses?”
“These are my buses.”
“So you purchased new buses now?”
“I got two new buses yes to operate the shuttle buses in Belize City. And the blue and white bus with Pepper’s Pizza is also the bus that I’m operating right now.”
So why are those new buses marked Belize Diesel, no longer being operated by Lopez, you might ask? The reason is all financial, and Lopez’ competitor, has now leased those very same buses from Belize Diesel and is now operating them under a new company, Arrowline. Arrowline has introduced a new run that has its buses traversing along the same path as Lopez’, and is charging two dollars instead of a dollar, for the air-conditioning comfort that it provides.
But it is a run for which the Traffic Department is still awaiting a proposal from the operators of Arrowline, according to City Manager, Kevan Jenkins. Jenkins could not confirm with us if under the current traffic regulation a bus company can introduce new prices. Whether it does allow for it or not is not as important as the fact that commuters need to know which bus they’re getting on and how much it costs to reach work, school or home. Marion Ali for News Five.