ADO and Guatemalan Owned Bus Coming to Belize
During the interview, Transport Minister Rodwell Ferguson confirmed that ADO from Mexico and a bus company from Guatemala have been given the green light to bring tourists into the country. Minister Ferguson says that bus operators have been notified. Ferguson says the approval was given by Cabinet.
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “As we are here to try to upgrade and improve the bus runs across this country and I can now say that Cabinet has given us the directive to bring in Calle Del Norte from Guatemala and ADO from the north to bring passengers into Belize as tourists. So they will stop at specific locations but not to pick up any Belizeans. Unless you’re a Belizean that wants to go to Merida you can catch that bus from a particular location but across the border not to stop in Corozal so it will not affect our local operators. They’re going to stop only at terminals. So our local operator at the terminals, and our local supervisors will make sure that they pick up only passengers who are going across the border on both sides. Our country needs to upgrade our bus industry. We are the smallest country in Central America and we need every opportunity to grow Belize and the Ministry of Tourism is saying that because there is no local transportation from the west and from the north then it’s affecting the tourism industry.”
Reporter: Okay so the two bus lines north and the west.
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “So they’re going to bring tourists into Belize and likewise take them out whenever they want to go but make sure that they book to go across the border not to Chetumal, not to Melchor but across the border.”
Reporter: And how many runs are we talking about ?
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “I think it’s Fuente Del Norte is one run per day and ADO eventually will be two runs per day from Mexico side. So if you are a Belizean and you’re sick and you want to go to Merida you can go to the Belize City terminal and catch the bus and go directly to Merida.”
Reporter: In terms of policing how do you police in terms of human trafficking ? Because we’ve seen a lot of Central American citizens using Belize as the transit point
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “Very good point and I believe the problem of immigration will have to be very active likewise we’re seeing a very active at the airport because it’s now a transit point for those from other countries to pass through Belize to reach the country of opportunity which is the USA.”
Reporter: It would be impossible for traffic officers and police officers to police the entire highway.
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “Yeah I say we will have to include the Department of Immigration because they know exactly what to check for. The police and the traffic officer don’t really know what to check for so we have to talk to the Minister of Immigration to make sure that they’ll also be a part of the checkpoints.”
Reporter: Is there an agreement that is going to be signed with the owners or the operators of these two companies like an MOU so that if there is any infractions then there are penalties ?
Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport: “Yes all that is being prepared by the Department of Transport and hopefully before the start that will be signed.”