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Sep 18, 2012

Bus fares will go up

Bus fares are going up. On Saturday, four dollars will no longer be able to get you from Belmopan to Belize City on the regular bus. According to the BBA, commuters will now be paying ten cents per mile. This means that you’ll now be paying five dollars on the regular bus and six dollars on the express bus from the capital to the Belize City. And while commuters will see it as a hike in prices, Thomas Shaw, President of Belizean Bus Association says they are simply putting into effect what already exists on the books. Shaw told News Five that all operators are on board and the change will be implemented in the next couple of days. Andrea Polanco has the story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Effective twenty second September commuters will be paying higher bus fares from Belmopan and all stops in between to Belize City. The Belizean Bus Association says it is move they must make, considering the increasing fuel prices. President Thomas Shaw says it’s merely a realignment of fares that didn’t happen from way back in 1992.

 

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw, President, Belizean Bus Association

“We are not increasing the fares. Basically, as a body we have an association and we have all our members; everybody is united.  What we have been discussing today is the original fares set in place since 1992. Since 1992 bus operators have not got an increase and fuel, tyres, parts, everything has escalated tremendously. We have actually sent a letter to the minister in which we got no response, we were trying to see if we can get sort of incentive or an economic relief but up to now nothing hasn’t really put in place. Basically, it’s just the leg from Belmopan to Belize City where from four dollars; we’ll be charging the five dollars where the short drop will be. If you check the per mile is that we are going way below the cost.”

 

Patrick Menzies, spokesperson of the B.B.A. says that this is only the first phase of the increase.

 

Patrick Menzies

Patrick Menzies, Spokesperson, B.B.A.

“It will be realigned, it starts on the twenty-second and we will be notifying the public on all the rates before it goes up. We are notifying the public now.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, Mr. Menzies, you said this is only phase one; in terms of what we can expect with phases two and three, is it that it’s going to extend to the entire country?”

 

Patrick Menzies

“Well, actually right now, the twenty-second, I need to clarify that it affects the western route. It affects Maskall and Crooked Tree. When it hits phase two and three, yes, you will see those things happening. We are calling on the northern operators to get with us because we need to finalize the alignment for the north.”

 

And with this realignment of fares, can commuters call for road worthy buses and better overall transport services?

 

Thomas Shaw

“Let me tell you something, to answer your question, even with us charging this extra dollar, that’s really not going to cut it. That is the first thing I would like the commuters out there to understand. As it is, the operators are trying. I can tell you. You can’t make blood out of stone. The operators right now, their family, their homes, everything is in jeopardy.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So operators can’t really expect any drastic change in terms of the buses they are riding?”

 

Thomas Shaw

“I am not saying they can’t expect it. The operators for the thirty-seven pointers, if you go out there right now, all the operators are complying.”

 

But even, so, Shaw says Minister Edmund Castro has been disrespectful to the B.B.A.

 

Thomas Shaw

“Well the association looks at it as a total disrespect. When we send out a letter to the minister and he replies back by the media and say it’s too stupid for us to be making demands; I don’t think it was the way for him to reply. You know I think we have to respect each other.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

A release this afternoon says that phase one will include the western road, Crooked Tree and Maskall. A new price list is to be released and all short stops will continue to be one-fifty across the board and students will pay a minimum of a dollar per trip. 

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19 Responses for “Bus fares will go up”

  1. RedBwai says:

    They must be freakin crazy if they are gonna raise bus fairs just like this…im am a frequent commuter on Belize’s public transportion…im definately not getting my money’s worth at present and im damn sure im not gonna get my money’s worth with any increase in rates…passengers already have to be putting up with alot of crap from these greedy bus operators…over crowding of busses…standees…dirty unreliable busses that are not road worthy, ignorant,unruley, drunken passengers, uncomfortables torn seats…windows that cant be lowered…etc etc…it cant be that i am to pay more for continued inferior service….

  2. Rod says:

    People can’t even buy food and everything going up what a wonderful job this gov and pm are doing we deserve whey we get raise the price up double I no blame unu .

  3. Storm says:

    The transit system in the Jewel has been a mess for a long time. I have no doubt that high fuel prices hurt the operators, especially the less efficient ones. GOB should make sure every bus and driver complies with safety standards, and is insured, and all routes are covered, and the operators should compete fairly and freely within those parameters. Competition improves the breed.

    Also, I think if I were a bus operator I would have a security camera inside the bus, and if a passenger damages the bus, that passenger would never ride my bus again.

  4. Young Gial says:

    I think it is about time. Maybe with a dollar more, the bus conditions and service will improve. Thank you Jesus.

  5. NERY says:

    it is very unlikely that the bus conditions will improve since the dollar increase is not really doing anything for the operators. that dollar is only helping them come out of the red numbers. if improvement wants to be see in the transportation conditions the price has to increase by way more and i’m pretty sure most belizeans are not willing to pay that price.
    improvement has a prices!

  6. senotar says:

    If the proposed increase is due to take effect from the 22 Sept 2012, I would like to know why West Line have already increased fare on the Belize to Belmopan run .

  7. Truth says:

    Another SCORE.. How funny the buses are falling apart, barely holding up, everything rattling and the dirtiness is a given… and on top of that maxed to capacity..

    Its says capacity 64 +1 and its more like 128 plus lol.. cause they push people in like friggin sardines..

    And you want to increase the price..jaja..

    Dumb suckers, thirst for money.. U want more money deliver a better service..

  8. Indio says:

    Craziness…. want to increase the bus fairs without no benefits to commuters,…. Why we have to pay for their incompetence in managing their business. Seems that they easiest thing for them is increase fare. Haven’t they implemented ticketing system,… owners will see how much more money will be accounted for as current situation they have no control of the money collected. We will not accept an increase without benefits,…

  9. liz29 says:

    I hope that the services improve with the increase in price as well… especially with the west line bus service that is very poor, the buses are in terrible conditions, doors out of plywood, and seats are really bad, in one of t the bus the base of the seat is the spare tire, what a shame, these buses should not even be on the highways we are human beings not animals…. we the commuters demand a better transport service….

  10. Common Sense says:

    Am sorry to say this…..as soon as this Menzies character opens his mouth, my ears close. Have to question this man’s agenda – seems like any opportunity to cause aggitation, Menzies is there.
    The man sickening!

  11. ixora says:

    the minister being disrespectful, he should have approach this matter professionally and not using the word stupid.
    no wonder why belize cant improve with this Government. Bus fares going up and the salary are getting small.

  12. Bzeman says:

    two words..”Commuter Strike”

  13. Al says:

    This is a sad situation, some people barely make that kind of money in a day. Get ready for an increase in roberry of persons and businesses. It is surely getting worse instead of better. The poor people are really getting screwed over. Change is needed in a hurry.

  14. Let'smakeastand says:

    They change one Ignorant and Incompetent Minister and replace him with a younger version of himself. To be a minister, he is not diplomatic and his ignorance is showing, I taught the training he went out of the country to undergo in the bus Industry would help, but his head haad. I do agree that we need improvement in the transportation Industry but we cant expect to get it without paying for it, Many ppl prefer using the private hospital instead of KHMH because of the service and treatment regardless of the price. Well it is the same with the bus Industry. If we are paying a little we cant expect any better than inferior service, Fair is fair!! With the constant increase in Fuel Price, we should know that it would have been just a matter of time before the fares would increase, I believe if the government would distribute runs to deserving operators other than their friends and supporters, half the problem in the Bus Industry will be solved!

  15. stopthebs says:

    i’m so sick of these !@@%!@# politician in Belize ,talk about Belize going down the drain cause of these morons ,i just hope the people get some b@lls and rise up against these !@@%!@# idiots . power to the people

  16. Elgin Martinez says:

    The problem is that nothing is regulated in Belize.

  17. Student says:

    For the bus service to improve we need to pay more. My father has been working in Belmopan for the last 20 years and he is still paying the same three dollars from San Ignacio to Belmopan. Back in 1992 the price of diesel was less than $2. per gallon. It’s clear to me that we will not get better service if the prices are not increased dramatically. ADO the Mexican company operating in Belize charges .23 cents per mile. Paying that price would give us first class service, but paying .10 cents a mile will give us a crappy service. Life is real people.

  18. Student says:

    Oh, one more point. Patrick Menzies spells bad news for the Bus Association, he wants to fight with the government on any issue. Keep him away.

  19. pitbull says:

    please allow me to say a short story, which is real. there was ones a farmer who had a problem with his horse been piss by a spider call tarantula. Every morning he change the horse from different locations that he would leave him during the night, and still find the horse with the same problem, until one day he found out that the tarantula was under the horse tail hiding. This bus operators change conductors or collectors over and over and over and over, and they still can make money according to the operators. Please bus owners wake and find your financial problem, it is not the fare that each commuters pays that is not making u happy at the end of the day, its your conductors that pocket your money, so u cant see it at the end. stop blaming the wrong side, and another thing, PAY YOUR WORKERS A FARE PAY AND THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY. thank u..

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