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Jun 1, 2021

Battle of the Buses; Ladyville Companies Feud over Passengers

On Monday night, News Five brought you the story of Aaliyah Monima, a bus conductor in Ladyville who alleges that she was physically assaulted by a bus driver and a conductor from a competing bus line earlier that day.  Tonight, we can confirm that the bus driver and conductor are being sought by police for questioning.  But this incident is only the symptom of an ongoing bus route battle in Ladyville with several bus owners from the area pleading with the relevant authorities to intervene. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Bert Ramos

Bert Ramos, Owner, Ramos Bus Service

“What the problem is when Serranos Bus comes out from Ladyville, he is supposed to go pick up his passengers by the junction and go down to Belize City. Instead, we have been complaining, he parks his bus right out there. If he nuh sih a Haylock Bus, then come ih nuh wah move. If ih nuh sih wah Ramos Bus di come ih nuh wah move. If ih nuh sih wah Thomas Bus di come, ih nuh wah move. And this dah the problem. The problem is that Serrano de try ker everybody, and there is no way how one bus could carry everybody. For instance, I could talk bout my bus. My bus come out of Lord’s Bank with eight passengers. When ih get dah the junction, one a Serrano’s bus, wah deh right out deh, wah run straight down the main, pick up all the passengers and then meet his other bus by airport areas and hand over the passengers. It means my bus only gwen with eight passengers to Belize City. If Thomas Bus the come with five passengers from that side the same thing happens. And, if he continues the do this, or ih continue the do it, no care weh your turn this dah weh cause the problem.”


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Ramos alleges that Serrano’s busses run along the Northern Highway from the Lords Bank Junction to the Airport Junction, which he says is not a part of Serrano’s permitted route. A Serrano representative, however, refuted those claims. As for reports that Serrano buses park and wait for the competing bus operators, News Five witnessed this on the corner of Central American Boulevard and Vernon Street in Belize City. A man who identified himself as a conductor for Serranos told us that all his competitors do the same thing. He told us that this is the game they must play. But Kurt Thomas, the owner of Los Lagos Bus Service says this is no game.


Kurt Thomas

Kurt Thomas, Los Lagos Bus Service

“Mister Serrano has always been a problem not only for me, but for the Ladyville buses, Mr. Ramos, Mr. Haylock. He has had problems with McFadzean, Russel, even the buses from North have run in with Mr. Serrano. This stems from the problem we have where Mr. Serrano’s comes out from the junction where the police junction is and he parks there and he waits up to fifteen to twenty minutes sometimes. And we have video evidence. We have sent this evidence to the Transport Department, the old government and the new government. We have petitioned, all the bus drivers came together begging them to look into this situation. To date nothing has happened. It is just escalating further and further into more problems. It is getting physical now.   It does not really matter the point that he is waiting. The point is that the buses are now going to Belize City racing. And people tend to blame the other bus operators, oh why you racing? But who would sit back and watch another bus in front of them pick up everything because he waited for you? Everyone must make money.”


Tenisha Serrano of Serrano’s Bus Service believes Thomas’s only motive is to have their bus permit revoked.


Tenisha Serrano

Tenisha Serrano, Serrano’s Bus Service

“The thing is we operate from Ladyville. Vista del Mar, the Milpa Area, we operate from that area. You see this is Lord’s Bank, they have their own people. Los Lagos, they have their own people. But you see, everybody focusses on Ladyville. So, when they leave their destination, they want to go out there and focus on Ladyville. So, because we have runs now and the people hardly come out to the junction it is a big problem for them. Even police officers they have go out there and harass we. But when time their bus pass out there, police nuh badda. But as long as dah Serrano’s it’s a problem. It is a problem when it comes to us. The other day they had a letter, so many bus companies signed, and they took to transport department and dah this same young man from this bus company, Los Lagos, he dah the one behind all of it.”


Kurt Thomas

“This is the second time he attacked a female. The first female he attacked was a young lady who used to work for Mister Ramos. He didn’t physically touch her but he tried to throw water on her phone when she was videotaping them, because her boss told her to go out sit there and video tape for evidence to provide to transport.”


Bert Ramos

“After I sit down and I watch the news, Channel Five news last night, and I sih what transpired and thing, it neva surprising to me. Because it happened before where Mr Serrano personally spray water, a dollar water eena my conductor phone and nothing come out of it. Suh when I sih that lasntight I say, it happen again. This mek I nuh mind give you this interview because we would really want something to get done about it.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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