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Castro demands Bus Owners to improve their conditions of local buses

Minister of Transport, Edmond Castro was also at this afternoon’s meeting.  Following the positive outcome, Castro explained why this matter took a while to be resolved.

Edmund Castro, Minister of Tourism

Edmund Castro, Minister of Transport:I think I heard the Attorney General said something like rapidito fast, everybody would want things overnight, right away, instantaneous but the world doesn’t spin like that, even the world spins slowly but in the negotiation back and forth I think we, and I had always been a Minister of Transport that looks after the interest of the local Belizean bus operators / taxi men hence from the time we met I had a problem with some of those buses and busitos going, bypassing the terminal and going to the San Pedro water taxi I said that foolishness has to stop- we have to halt that. And so I had always been an advocate to try and see how we can best have the dollar share more for the bus operators, the taxi men whether it’s the Benqueu taxi operators, whether it’s the one from the terminal taking tourists to the water taxi and the water taxi and vice versa. So I think today has been a great day for the bus operators and taxi stands throughout the country and we will try to make sure, do our utmost best to make sure that this thing works. We would like to see that the more dollars that could be spent in our country is better for not just me, it’s better for all the bus operators, all the hoteliers, it’s better for the country. So I am here and I will continue to advocate and try to lobby for Belizeans first in this instance in terms for them to make a dollar.”
As we explained earlier, the bus operators were of the impression that preferential treatment was being given to the foreign buses.  They even went as far as blaming the interference of the tourism agencies.  Castro denied the idea of favoritism, saying that the delay had to do with the need for consultations.
Edmund Castro, Minister of Transport: “Not at all. If I had gone ahead and made a decision without consultation with the tour operators, without consultation with the taxis, without consultation with the hoteliers you would say that I am behaving like my last name, like a real dictator. Man, what happened to consultation? What is so wrong with consulting with all the stakeholders. I think we have done the right thing, we are doing the right thing; consult with all those who might be affected.  So for us to say ‘well you should have got it done two months ago, six months ago, two years ago, six years ago, fifteen years ago, that’s nonsense. We are here now and we are making a giant leap. No other Minister of Transport had bent over sideways, backward, front and back like you’re marching in the 10th-day parade like I did for the people that might be affected.”
With all that has been said and done, we can tell you that there is no need to worry about a bus strike happening; at least not in the near future.