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Sep 15, 2022

Bus Operators List Concerns They Have with Ministry of Transport

Bus operators held a press conference this afternoon in Belize City to share their concerns regarding the public transportation sector and what they feel are unreasonable conditions being placed on them as the Ministry of Transport seeks to upgrade the industry. The bus operators presented letters written by some of their members about some of the so-called “unfair” conditions. Among the issues they raised is the inclusion of Floralia into the fray to provide bus runs in the north and west and cherry-picking the runs that would take away their business, as well as not being able to access adequate funding to purchase the types of buses they deem suitable as part of the upgrade.

 

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw, President, Belize Bus Association

“The B.B.A. has nothing against Floralia. We welcome competition but it has to be fair, not unfair. The way they were inserted into the industry I think that it’s unfair due to the fact that we have other existing operators out there that were doing the run. Initially they came in and they got three runs out of the south, which they’re doing presently. I asked Mr Vanzie if he had any interest in doing more runs. He said no, that’s it, that would be final, unless the department thinks otherwise. Low and behold, it was out there on Facebook, advertisements, that they’ll be running in the north, they’ll be running in the west. I don’t think you should come and insert yourself in front or among any operator that has already established a route. It takes an operator almost two years to build a run. Now we all know the direction in which the department is going in talking about upgrade and all the rest of it, and it’s so ironic that if you want to tell an operator to upgrade and you buy a two hundred and fifty-thousand-dollar bus and you insert a new operator right in front of that operator, there’s no stability. There’s no guarantee that you will be able to repay your mortgage. We need to get proper terminals, we need parking for our buses.”

 

Ewart Metzgen

Ewart Metzgen, Secretary, Belize Bus Association

“Yes, we know you all want the good stuff. We want that too, but these busses come at a high cost. And are we truly ready to go back down that road where we saw the Novelo family went when they got all this money. Ih wa cost yoh bout two million dollars fi bring three bus ya. You can’t give me a ten-year permit just fi dehn three bus deh cause ih wa tek all my runs, everything weh I got eena my business fi cover fi pay fi da two million dollars. Soh if yoh wa gimme wa ten-year permit yoh wa gimme ten years fi all my runs deh. And this is one of the things that we are saying we want and it is the only way that the operators will be able to do what the department wants.”


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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