Late this evening the Ministry of Transport issued a release announcing that an agreement was reached between the Belize Bus Association and the Ministry over the ongoing concern of Mexican and Guatemalan busses being allowed to enter the Jewel and endangering the livelihoods of local operators across the country.
As we reported in Monday’s newscast members of the Bus association were up in arms and even threatening to carry out a nationwide shut down if their concerns over foreign-owned buses that are allowed to operate inside Belize were not addressed suitably.
According to the Ministry’s release, following a meeting with representatives from the Belizean Bus Association earlier today, it was agreed that going forward, only one regular bus run per day would be allowed from each country entering Belize during the day, and returning to the respective country in the evening. The agreement, according to the release, further stipulates that the buses would only be allowed to drop off passengers within the country who travelled with them from across the border. And, on their return trip to Guatemala or Mexico, they would only be authorized to pick up passengers heading across the border into those respective countries.
The release further adds and we quote “In order to reflect these stipulations, it was agreed that the necessary changes would be made as soon as possible to Statutory Instrument (S.I) 63 of 2009, or the S.I would be completely repealed and the stipulations included in the permit for the buses entering the country.”
Today’s meeting was chaired by Minister of Transport, Honorable Edmond Castro. Also present was Attorney General, Honorable Michael Peyrefitte; Minister of State with responsibility for Investment, Trade and Commerce, Honorable Tracy Panton; CEO in the Ministry of Transport, Ruth Meighan; and Chief Transport Officer, Tirso Galvez. The bus operators’ delegation was headed by President of the Belizean Bus Association, Thomas Shaw.