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May 19, 2011

Bus operators mad about changes in routes and new operator

You’ve heard about road rage, well there is a conflict on the highways today that has bus operators blistering for fair play and accountability. It seems that the rules of engagement have changed once again for bus operators of the north who feel that they are being hustled out of their routes, which means less income.  A new operator has been granted road service permits for over fifteen runs. Bus operators say granting the runs to the new operator puts their investment at risk since it means drastically cut down routes previously held by its members.   Additionally, the permits have changed significantly for members of the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative whose routes have been altered and moved from the West to the North to make way for the new bus line.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Ministry of Transport’s decision to implement the new routes and schedules that will affect bus operators in the west and north is making way for a new comer in the business and this doesn’t settle well with the Belizean Bus Association. The operators believe they are getting the bitter end of a bad deal:

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw: President, Belizean Bus Association

“And as the president that’s why we are contesting due to the fact that I think that our operators, our existing operators should’ve been given first priority. Runs have been, most existing operators that have been running for many, many years their runs have been slashed and given to new comers. The association is totally, totally in disagreement with it.”

Claude Frazer: Chairman, B.B.O.C.

“To find out that this newcomer, it’s a newcomer because this person hadn’t had no road runs that he was doing beside his school runs and beside that he was operating under the Bus Owner Cooperatives. And to have all these runs now to be taken away and be given to him it’s totally unfair.”

Thomas Shaw

“Well most of the operators applied but basically what they actually got in return was something that they didn’t applied for , totally as far as I can see that’s totally illegal.”

Abner Chell

Operators like B.B.O.C and Chell’s Bus Service say this move by the Ministry will only hurt them:

Abner Chell: Owner, Chell’s Bus Line

“Well this reasoning is affecting us tremendously because we are losing all our runs from Orange Walk to Belize and the runs we have currently from Orange Walk to Chetumal.”

Andrea Polanco

“So they’re completely cutting you guys out?”

Abner Chell

“Yeah completely cutting us off and just giving us one village run only to Carmelita.”

Claude Frazer

Claude Frazer

“If we go to the North we lost again. What really happen is that when we make when we got these runs we had some members who were just riding the co-op yuh understand and some people make some investment again and now if we go north we won’t have the amount of run to facilitate. Because if you watch right now we have eighteen runs on the West and six on the North and if we go north we’ll only be taking out twelve runs. What am gonna do with the rest of members, what are they gonna do with the investment they made?”

While the investment by bus operators is at risk, they say their employees and the commuters are the ones who stand to lose the most:

Abner Chell

“I have my workers that I think about yuh know fourteen families that gonna stay without their bread and butter everyday. I have an investment that’s going down the line. And also yuh know I have my commuters. I think what’s going to happen to my commuters from Orange Walk. I mean we serve the commuters from Orange Walk for so many years.”

Thomas Shaw

“Due To fact that the commuters weren’t properly informed, and I think with due respect seeing that we have an association the public should’ve been notified prior to this implementation.”

But as far as they are concerned there was no proper communication because they didn’t see this major change coming:

Thomas Shaw

“Well as the president I didn’t get anything personally in writing or to say well why B.B.O.C. was moved from West to go north or why Chell’s Belize City to Orange Walk runs were cancelled. I am not in the position to say so because I didn’t get anything in writing.”

Claude Frazer

“We just don’t get the picture why all of a sudden this big change and for this individual like I said who is a new comer. When the minister had, every meeting I had attended the minister had state that ‘we’re going to work with the existing operators; we’re not going to bring in no new operators’ and then he gone against his word and I think that’s where the big problem started right here.”

Bus Operators say that this is a typical case of robbing Peter to pay Paul because while B.B.O.C is moving north to accommodate the new comer, Sergio Chuc in the west, several bus operators including Chell’s, Cabrera’s, and Tillett’s will be cut off in the north. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Bus operators involved in the implementation of the new bus schedules will be meeting with The Ministry of Transport on Friday. It is hoped that they will reach an amicable solution to the problem at hand before the implementation takes place on Sunday. The Chief Transport Officer was not available for comment.

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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.

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13 Responses for “Bus operators mad about changes in routes and new operator”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Every few months there is a problem with the bus routes, the service, unmarked stops, changing fares, bus drivers coming to blows because the Transportation Department seem to have difficulty reading maps & no one seems to have any idea how many passengers or potential passengers are riding or will be riding the buses in any area. Sit down & work it out, there must be at least one competent soul in there with basic computation skills.

  2. fernando says:

    Sergio Chuc came to the USA last month to get all those old school buses. he is a big udp who is getting special treatment from the barrow administration….he is even going into football now…..all he cares about is money…..i say take this one to court.

  3. LARGE AND SEXY says:

    I REALLY HOPE THIS SOLVE OF THE THE PROBLEMS WE COMMUTERS ENCOUNTER WHEN LEAVING BELIZE CITY, ESPECIALLY ON SUNDAYS.
    MR SERGIO PLEASE HAVE EXPRESS BUSES ON SUNDAYS, SOME OF THESE BUS OWNERS KNOW THEY CANNOT MEET THE DEMANDS BUT INSIST ON HAVING ALL THE ROUTES, THESE OWNERS DON’T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH BUSES ESPECIALLY ON SUNDAYS, WE HAVE TO WAIT HOURS AND HOURS FOR A BUS AND BY THE TIME THE BUS ARRIVE PEOPLE RUSH IN LIKE CHICKENS, IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL THEY WOULD KILL TO FIGHT TO GET IN THE BUS.
    I AM HAPPY FOR THE NEW BUS LINE

  4. MACAL RIVERA says:

    we urgently need express buses on Sundays

  5. WESTERNMERMAID says:

    I am really happy for a news bus line if there is express on Sunday from Cayo to Belize and Belize to Cayo, I think it will help a lot, because traveling on Sundays is a lot of stress, buses are limited and with no express you have to wait hour and hours to get in a bus.
    SO I CAN SAY YES I WELCOME THE NEWS BUS LINE

  6. MACAL RIVERA says:

    RE: fernando, YOU HAVE IT ALL WRONG, I AM SURE YOU ARE A RICH PUP THAT IS WHY YOU TALK LIKE THAT, WE THE POOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO DEPEND ON BUSES TO REACH OUR DESTINATION WELCOME A NEW BUS LINE.
    I AM SURE YOU HAVE NEVER HAVE TO CATCH A BUS THAT IS WHY YOU THINK THIS WAY, YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT WE THE POOR GO THROUGH.
    TRAVEL ON BUSES ESPECIALLY ON SUNDAYS AND YOU WOULD SURLY WELCOME ANOTHER BUS LINE.

  7. CLEANHEART says:

    yes i know the how stressful it can be traveling on buses, as a commuter from Belmopan to Belize seven days a week i have had really bad experiences trying to get in a bus, especially from Belize city to Belmopan on Sundays, so for this same reason I am happy if the Ministry of transport would have express runs on Sundays, we surely need more buses because with the new system that was implemented it is very difficult to board in a bus especially during rush hours.
    Please be reminded that traveling by bus on Sundays is no different from weekdays, everyday I see hundred on passengers waiting.
    I am looking forward to have express buses on Sundays.

  8. Dvirgin says:

    Hey all these owners have old buses Ok a lot of time you see passengers of Shaws, Guerras and other
    stranded on the highways waiting because the OLD BUS BROKE DOWN.

  9. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why can’t anything be done in the Jewel without bringing politics into the equation?

  10. northern kid says:

    “Orange Walk Bus Operators should be the ones to cater to hard working Orangewalkeños. Stop di play politics @ the commuter’s expense, mada fish bwai!”

  11. yeh breds says:

    Hm the minister should first have started by fixing the current problem that we have. years ago an express bus only took like 2hours and 10 minutes from Belize to benque at present it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes that is really stressful. As to CHUC he is just getting paid back what he’s owed by a minister from the west. and talk about buses hey minister it is time that other bus operators follow the footsteps from Valencia’s and James and get some COACH or MCI buses for the express runs i believe that instead of going forward we are at square 1 again. The commuters live it they feel it and thats why they talk. It is obvious that every that this days these companies only care about the money they make more than the comfort of the customers and they cant handle the runs. we need more operators but the kind that will invest and give the people their money’s worth every time they ride a bus.

  12. edith says:

    Well i think its a good thing!!!!!!!! Good Luck Mr. Chuc and we are happy to work with You all I ask is that you Satisfy your customers and please remember we need more buses on Sunday especially an express. WELCOME TO YOU YOUR DRIVERS AND CONDUCTORS , hope everything is successful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. ivan cal says:

    yeap thats really a stresssss travelling from orange walk to corozal/chetumal the bus thats suppose to leave orange walk 600:am is Tillets bus lines but because theirs’ not enough passengers they changed tha run to 6:45,7:00 am and of course its the workers that get stranded,and now chells bus line is tha same !@$$,they are also suppose to leave orange walk town enroute to corozal/chetumal at 6:30 am on sundays and they also leave whenever they want,just the lampop!!!!!!!! while we the workers get the Blame for reaching late at work. some of us now have to rent an apartment for not having to get the blame for reaching late at work because of these incompetent bus companies,tired of them especially CHELLS bus line ,they no have good attitude for treating the customers,but because theres’ no other early runs from different bus companies we the comuters are obliged to ketch chells bus line,and its just goes stoping and stopping and if the bus is not jamed,jamed with passengers it just continues pikingup I hope that an accident does not occur because it will be a disaster.

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