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Jan 8, 2021

B.B.A. Says Bus Operators Need G.O.B.’s Subsidy

Shaw says that in this first meeting with the new minister, they discussed a range of issues that are central to the survival of the bus transport industry.  Among those issues were road permits, bus schedules, and parking, but at the heart of the conversation was the issue of subsidies for bus operators. You’ll recall that the bus association was asking the previous administration to subsidize some of their costs, but that didn’t happen even after the pandemic set in.  Now, Shaw is lobbying the new government, as he says the cost of fuel is killing bus operators.

 

Thomas Shaw, President, Belize Bus Association

“Before the COVID even came out, we were asking for subsidy and assistance from G.O.B., but apparently that didn’t really work out. As it is right now, we were discussing the fifteen minutes whereas you have buses leaving like quarter to three; three oclock; three-fifteen; three-thirty – whereas nobody is really making money. So, the Minister assured us that they will be looking into these things and maybe bring in all the road service permits and do a comprehensive review of the whole system.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What kind of subsidy are you looking for?”

 

Thomas Shaw

“Well, basically, you know the fuel has always been a plague out there and that is one of the main objectives right now for the cost of fuel. In terms of lets say, tires, parts – if you are bringing a bus from the United States you will not get full exemption or duty-free, but you get some exemptions on it where there are some sort of incentives for the operators.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Mr. Shaw, did the new minister give you any assurances or any sort of commitment to review that issue of the subsidy and perhaps to try and meet you guys halfway?”

 

Thomas Shaw

“Well, he hasn’t – it is an ongoing dialogue and but he did assure that -because I told him in the past that we didn’t have that relationship with the government. The Minister said that he is really willing to work with the operators and the association and to see how we change things around. He said they just got in and we need to give them a time to get all of these things straightened out.”

 

A press release from the Ministry of Logistics says that Minister Rodwell Ferguson and C.E.O. Marconi Leal presented plans for the transportation industry and ways the ministry is able to support the association.


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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