There is a situation brewing between the Dalla Van Association and the Belize City Council. The issue has to do with the vans charging a fee of $2 per person and their insistence in the number of persons they allow in their vans at any one time. According to the Councilor with responsibility for Traffic, Allan Pollard Jr. the council became aware of the situation due to multiple complaints received from City residents.
Allan Pollard, Councilor with Responsibility for Traffic: “Firstly starting the beginning of this week I have a letter drafted we’re supposed to meet with the manager and we’re calling to them because I don’t want to be hard and fast, I don’t want to be harsh; we want to dialogue. Whiching the dialogue should have happened a long time ago before the increase but we’re still giving them that chance to sit down with us, tell us some of the concerns, show us the logistics, show us the reasoning and let us come up with a suitable solution to this that the residents can benefit and they can benefit as well. But there’s no way that I personally or the traffic department can support any kind of spike especially a hundred percent spike in any increase for any services in the city right now during this tough time. We can only speculate as to the reason for the increase I think somebody said something about they have to apply the social distancing protocols so instead of six people you can only carry three or four so hence the reason they’re charging two dollars. My thing is COVID came and the bus drivers they could tell you they had to park the buses, the taxi drivers everybody had some kind of effect, nobody had any immunity to the effects of COVID-19 the economic effects specifically. So my thing is you can’t take that out on residents because even during this time you had a decrease in gas prices as well so there’s no way you could come to us and tell us “Alright we’re charging two dollars.” which is a hundred percent increase from the dollar and mind you the name is Dalla Vans. People are using this mode of transportation as an economic replacement for taxis not everybody has that six dollars or seven dollars to catch a cab so they catch these and it’s more efficient for them. We at the council we just regulate.”
According to Pollard, a meeting is scheduled between the council and the association for some time next week. Love News tried speaking with some of the van drivers but they declined.