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Mar 31, 2010

Water Taxi Associations work together to keep industry afloat

news3It’s been a while since we heard about the battle between Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association and the new kid on the block, the San Pedro Express.  Initially questions were raised about whether or not there were enough customers for the industry to sustain the two groups.  The first blow was felt when San Pedro Express had to relocate to its new home at the Brown Sugar.  Both groups took public relations hits with mini protests involving land taxis, all along a narrow stretch along North Front Street. Today News Five spoke to the principals of San Pedro Express but this time there is no battle. According to the Marin brothers, both organizations are working together to avoid races on the sea and to set prices for runs and will not increase the fares for Easter travel.   According to Joshua Marin, they are setting the example for other competing organizations to follow.

Joshua Marin, Spokesperson, San Pedro Express

Joshua Marin

Joshua Marin

“When we started the business the price was never intended to be dropped. Unfortunately, competition brings that with any business.  So the price started to go down when the competition began.”

Jose Sanchez

“What prices are they at now, round trip and one way?”

Joshua Marin

“Right now it’s at thirty and twenty. The original prices that it was when we started the business was a year and a half ago. Same price, it didn’t go up, it just went back to the original price we started with.”

Jose Sanchez

“What is the reason now then to going back to the price, some people think you’re gouging, taking a lot more?”

Kein Marin, Operations Manager, San Pedro Express

“Well competition like he said brought it mixed up. Yes we were competing at a less price, you know fuel will be going up. We’re trying to work it out so that way we can sustain our business.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you’re working along with Caye Caulker Water Taxi on the prices and the taxi runs?”

Kein Marin

“The thing is that both companies saw that yes we can handle it and move everybody. But without profits turning over, it is very difficult to sustain and maintain our vessels to the standards we should.  Hence the reason why the prices had to go up, automatically any business. If you have a bus, the tire

blows, you have to fix it. The same with a bus, if the prop breaks, or an engine breaks you have to fix it. What you have to do is to work along with them.  It is very difficult and you barely find Belizeans working together to achieve one common goal. I think it’s a bold step for both companies to step up and say don’t worry about competition, let’s work together to provide a better service.

The schedule remains the same. I go nine he goes ten thirty and so forth. The thing is now, all the runs still remain but we share it…instead of I do eight and he does eight…instead of racing, safer for everybody.”

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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7 Responses for “Water Taxi Associations work together to keep industry afloat”

  1. Redbwai says:

    Yea right, am i supposed to believe that? come on just admit that the two companties have merged into one and decided to gouge the people by raising the prices. Competition working together? where have you ever heard that happening in Belize? If the two top competitors are fighting for customers why wouldn’t they merge into one company, still make a good profit, and at the same time try to stamp out competitors from entering “their” race. What do you think happenedwith Smart and BTL? haha…brings back memories huh……aye…why do Belizeans try to take one another for fools?

  2. Oscar965 says:

    Redbwai….there are many companies in belize that work together…we have communities that work together also…if you cannot see that..then you live in a different world…having said that i agree with you..i think that the water taxi companies have merged… the rates that they were charging was way too low for them to survive and the customers were oh so happy to pay the lower fares..but that could not last…and so reality has hit both companies and we are back to higher prices..everything in 2010 is going up..with the goverment leading the way…oh except the police budjet that is going down cause crime is going down..jeje…but that is another topic…

  3. BLF says:

    Redbwai I agree… them ppl di tek us for fools!! Just seh it… the 2 companies merged and them working for the same boss now… why do circles outta nothing!

  4. tania says:


  5. tania says:


  6. cg says:

    typical belizeans…you see people working together finally and you choose to criticize….typical! That is why nothing good come from Belize cause all you do is delay responsible progress instead of embrace. Find your own way to islands then!! See how expensive it will be for you.

  7. Redbwai says:

    On the other hand, It could be one big conspiracy theory …… charging higher prices would help to prevent the poorer class of people”the undesired” from visiting the Island especially the “Creoles” who may bo be able to afford that higher prices and whom they so desperately want to profile before stepping foot on San Pedro. I am a born Belizean and i’m a Creole and proud of it and the remarks made by the minister of tourism just goes to show his racism and the racism of the people of San Pedro. I will not and i repeat WILL NOT!!! be treating like this in my own country!! Yea some companies work together for the benefit of the customers but most work together for the benefit of their pockets… to hell with the customers they say. What would happen if i were to start my own water taxi business to and from San Pedro/ Caye Caulker and charge the same old price they were charging? what would you think would happen? Who would customers choose to ride with? Which company would benefit the pockets of the people in these harsh economic times? Ya, competition is where its at and if we have competition it balances the status quo so everyone benefits with it being a win win situation.

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