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Jul 7, 2008

New water taxi service needs license to operate

Story PictureA new water taxi service hopes to operate between Belize City and the islands. Jose Sanchez has more details.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Two water taxi companies working in the area have not deterred some entrepreneurs from attempting to set up a third business right next to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association. The Belize Water Taxi Terminal, has high hopes to take you express to and from San Pedro in the near future. That is if they can get a license. Just listen to the enthusiasm of Givovanni Marin, fifty percent owner of the establishment.

Givovanni Marin, co-owner, Belize Water Taxi Terminal
“We are going to be offering top of the line service for people. our terminal will have a/c, very nice clean bathrooms, we’re gonna be having special boots where they’re gonna be selling tickets for the Mundo Maya, Mexico, Salvador, Guatemala. All of those services we’re gonna be providing here in our terminal as well as a cargo area, as you can see. We’re gonna be accepting all kinds of mail, freight, when it comes to boxes and all of that. We’re gonna be serving in a way, in a professional manner that we’ll have freezers and all of that in case people want to send meat, or fish or whatever. Here as well as San Pedro, we’re gonna be having all those services.”

And while the banners are rolling out today and many might be hoping to try out the cafeteria and cargo services at this air-conditioned facility, the investment group has come up with a major obstacle that is keeping their doors closed and the boats far from its Belize City terminal.

Givovanni Marin, co-owner, Belize Water Taxi Terminal
“We had a plan to open July tenth, which we should have gotten our permits and everything but for some reason that hasn’t happened yet. Right now we are unloading people here behind our terminal and it seems that Port Authority is not happy with the idea for us to unload people here behind our terminal, which I don’t see on what grounds they can stop us from unloading in our terminal. Presently, they were measuring the back area here. It seems that tomorrow, first thing in the morning they’re gonna be placing buoys as to stop us from using our own back yard here which we are paying, which is a big area according to them. Why they want to block us is because we are blocking the river entrance. I cannot see why if you would step out there it’s very clear. If a business is working next to us which is doing the same, same business, they are not being stopped, they are operating as normal why can’t we work the same?”

Without a license and without access to the waterway, the future for this business is uncertain. So for the unforeseen future the ticket booth will remain closed for business. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez

Marin says they have leased the old Regent building for ten years and have invested over six hundred thousand dollars.

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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