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Jun 10, 2020

B.B.O.C. Upset About Unlawful Run Allegedly Sanctioned by Minister of Transport

Tonight, the operators of the B.B.O.C. are calling on the Ministry of Transport to intervene in what they say is an unlawful run being operated out of the Belize City Bus Terminal en route to the northern districts. Ewart Metzgen says that a bus line called “B.T.S.” is chartered to transport police officers back and forth between the north and the city.  But that bus, according to Metzgen, is infringing on B.B.O.C.’s run when it started to pick up passengers at the start of this week. The problem is that the bus doesn’t have a permit to do passenger runs, but Metzgen alleges that the operator appears to be highly connected and is getting permission directly from the Minister of Transport Edmond Castro.  Metzgen says that the operator of B.T.S. is Daisy Marroquin. Our records show that she contested the U.D.P. Corozal South East Convention in 2014.  Today, Metzgen shared that if the bus doesn’t stop its unlawful run, on Thursday, the members will be at the terminal to express how they feel.

 

On the Phone: Ewart Metzgen, Member Owner, BBOC

“Now, they have a charter permit with the Police Department. They do not have a road service permit that permits them to run passengers. What is now taking place is that the bus is entering the terminal and taking out passengers from there on an existing operator’s time. What happened when the folks from the terminal unit intervened, the lady who is on the bus calls the Minister of Transport personally to tell him that the people from the terminal unit are not allowing her to load passengers. The minister in turn calls the supervisors at the terminal telling them they must allow the buses to load the buses there. When we check with the officials at the Department of Transport, they are saying that the bus doesn’t have a road service permit and shouldn’t be in our bus terminal. So, what is happening now is that they are creating a conflict with the B.B.O.C. because it is on the time that they are supposed to be running they are going into the terminal but because the Minister called and instructed the terminal unit, they’re hands are tied. They know that it is wrong and the Minister himself knows that what he is doing is wrong. I guess he just doesn’t care but it is going to be a problem.”

 

So, as you heard just now, Metzgen of the B.B.O.C. alleges that the B.T.S. is operating without a road service permit and taking its passengers. In the interview you heard he alleged that Minister Castro has a hand in what is going on. Today, we reached out to get a comment from Castro via phone and he directed us to reach out Chief Transport Officer Tirso Galvez. He went on to say that he said he didn’t know what Metzgen was talking about but said, “All I know the person got permit fuh run and the permit, everything di get ratified.” He also pointed out that B.T.S. is “one of the only bus lines that wanted to run during the COVID-19 situation.”  We then reached out to Galvez who said he was unable to grant us interview because he needed permission from his C.E.O.  We asked him if the B.T.S. has a permit, he said that the bus line doesn’t, to which we asked if they don’t have a road service permit, then they shouldn’t be operating, to which Galvez responded, “should it be by law, it shouldn’t be operating.”


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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