Electric Buses are the Way to Go
In early 2023, the Government of Belize will receive the first fleet of electric buses from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This initiative is being funded by the EU through the Ministry of Transport and the Belize City Council. Grants will allow the Ministry and the City Council to acquire electric buses. Mayor Bernard Wagner says that city commuters deserve a better transportation system. He says that bus operators have done nothing to upgrade buses.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “ I grew up with the same buses from the 80s and if you call experience running a type of transport system such as what we have in the city and on the roads that’s a lot, there is a lot to be desired that our residents are experiencing right now and our end game is really to serve our people. Our residents deserve the best that is how I look at it. That is how my council looks at it. We have been experiencing situation where residents are getting wet on buses. We have to as the leaders be able to give the best to our residents. They deserve the best and these operators have had years and years that improve their buses and they have done nothing to improve their companies. You will tell me that you will sit for over 40 years and not have a plan? Where is their plan? I hear the nonsense that is being spoken by some of the bus owners they want to keep progress down and that is where we go our separate ways. For us to expand then you would need other investors and so the opportunity for them to invest with the city for the increase of buses to serve the routes, to serve our residents in a way where the residents aren’t getting wet, the residents have become accustomed to a reliable, efficient type of bus transport system in the inner city, in the inner city. I am focused on the inner city and so our end game is to really serve our people and have the transport system really develop into an E transit.”
Mayor Wagner says that the bus route will start near the new finance building on Chetumal Boulevard. The E-buses will serve the entire city and according to Mayor Wagner, the plan also includes the development of a mobile app.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Our plan is to have all the buses running along that route fully Wi-Fi, using all the technology so that residents are able to know where the buses are, it is coming the next 10 minutes, it is coming in the next 15 minutes and so you go to that bus stop, we will develop an app, UNDP has already sent out the call for development of that app. You can go on your phone the next bus is coming in the next 10 minutes or the next 5 minutes and so this is the type of innovation we want. This is the type of technology we want. We want the best for our residents that is all our agenda is to give our residents of the city especially those living at the margins that we are here to serve to have them get the best. And it’s a pilot project, E buses because it’s driven by electricity it would be very affordable cost-wise it would be so affordable for the residents of the city.”