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Apr 8, 2022

Water Taxis Put on Notice about Illegal Fare Increases

As Belizeans prepare for their Easter caye trips, the Belize Port Authority is calling out water taxi operators for overcharging commuters. A release from B.P.A. advises the general public that they have not approved any increase in passenger fares and any changes above the approved rates are unlawful and will not be tolerated. Commuters are being asked to report any attempts by water taxis to charge more than the approved rate and to provide evidence of such unlawful act to the Belize Port Authority. News Five spoke with Major Gilbert Swaso, the Commissioner of the Belize Port Authority who says yes, there are small charges for port fees, but excessive increases are not allowed and consumers should keep their ticket stubs as evidence.

 

Major Gilbert Swaso

Major Gilbert Swaso, Commissioner, Belize Port Authority

“The law also makes provision for what is considered to be a passenger user fee. So that will be an addition to the approved passenger fare. It is usually, if for example the case of the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi in the Independence and Placencia area, the approved fare is seven dollars and twenty five cents for adults. So, the law is then saying that for such a fare which is less than ten dollars then the passenger user fee which will be collected by the water taxi operator for and on behalf of the authority will be twenty five cents. In the case of San Pedro Belize Express, so San Pedro to Caye Caulker and Caye Caulker to San Pedro one way is twenty five dollars. It is saying that for a fare that is ten dollars or less than a hundred dollars they will be charging the passenger twenty five dollar per one way, they will have a passenger user fee for one dollar. We put out in the release the passenger fare, but the law also makes provision and stipulates a passenger user fee which shall be collected for and behalf of the Authority by the water taxi operator. The law also makes provision for the water taxi operator to display in conspicuous places at the terminal and in the vessel the approved fares. In the event that the passenger is being charged a fee which should be displayed and the display fee is twenty-five and they are being charge thirty dollars, those persons can keep a copy of the respective stub then report that issue to the Belize Port Authority.”


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