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Jul 20, 2022

$1.6 Million Fuel Subsidy for Bus Operators in the Transport Sector

Today in front of the NEMO headquarters in Belmopan, the Ministry of Transport held a small ceremony to signal the rollout of its fuel subsidy program. Almost a hundred bus operators stand to benefit from the six-month program to the tune of one point six million dollars. Witnessing the event were public and private sector stakeholders in the transportation industry. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Ninety-three bus operators from across the country will be benefiting from a one point six million-dollar fuel subsidy program rolled out today by the Department of Transport. The approval of the subsidy program was given by cabinet in April of this year.


Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport

“We were the first ministry to take a subsidy to cabinet because we recognize the importance of transportation across the country. It was a lengthy process; it takes days and weeks and weekends to come to a conclusion. After we come to a conclusion, I believe that every single operator should be happy that the ministry of transport has done their part for your own development.”


The six-month program is to offset the global surge in fuel prices and will minimize the financial impact on over seventy thousand daily commuters and ensure the sustainability of the bus operators. Chief Transport Officer, Dian Vasquez says that in addition to the subsidy, concessions were made to improve the quality of public transportation in Belize.


Dian Vasquez

Dian Vasquez, Chief Transport Officer

“To mitigate the fuel cost, on May fifteenth, for the first time ever, the Government of Belize began subsidizing the bus operators – a very historic moment and clear indication of this ministry and government’s commitment to improving the standards and quality of public transportation in Belize. In addition to the subsidy, a price fare adjustment was done and extension of road service permit from two to ten years was also approved by government for operators who are willing to upgrade their buses.”


President of the Belize Bus Association, Thomas Shaw says that this move averts the collapse of the transportation industry. He says it is now up to the bus operators to do their part and abide by the regulations in place.


Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw, President, Belize Bus Association

“We realize that yes, these people really want to help us. With the bus fares, with the subsidy, it comes at a time when the industry was about to collapse. To be honest with you, if this wasn’t really put in place, God knows where the industry would be right now. So I am asking all the operators for their support in terms of the ministry is doing their part, we need to do our part. We need to get out there and abide by the law; let’s charge the fares that is actually assigned by each operator.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


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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