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Sep 15, 2022

Minister of Transport Says Floralia Already Has What the Bus Industry Needs

News Five contacted the Minister of Transport, Rodwell Ferguson following the bus operators’ press conference to get his reaction to the concerns about Floralia and the permits they want to extend for ten years. Here’s what he had to say.

 

Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport

“In terms of Floralia, when they first came on stream, I never entertain them – I never asked them to come with a new bus company. They came to my office and said they want to participate in the bus industry in this country and they are going to offer buses 2022. That came right up my alley because we are doing a study with the I.D.B. right now, and the consultants are in the country right now and they are giving us the standards that they want to operate on our highways. And what is there right now is that added (inaudible). So when Floralia came in we had to entertain them because we said this is the direction that we want to go. If any other operator had done the same, we would do likewise and allow them to do the same thing. The bank, National Bank of Belize is also trying to protect its assets. They are offering financial assistance to them through a loan but the bank is telling them that “I can’t give yoh a loan if yoh bus cannot be insured comprehensively because I need to protect my investment. So I could only give you a loan if you can get a bus of a certain caliber, a certain year that is insurable, if not I cannot give you a loan. So I guess we have to continue the dialogue, continue the negotiations so we can move forward with the bus industry in this country. I think, Marion, some big operators will still go to the bank and will still negotiate and get their loan to purchase their buses because in ten years, whatever loan you can get you can pay back. As it is right now, it’s two-year bus service permits. When your permit expires, I can’t give you a loan because it’s expired. But if I give you ten years, it’s a long period.”


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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