Floralia’s new service to the capital; Competitor says it was surprise
Floralia also started a new express service from Belize City to Belmopan this week. The 8:00 p.m. service is in direct competition with another longstanding player in the industry, Shaw’s Bus Service. Andy Shaw, the owner of the latter, sits on the Transport Board and insists that no such decision to approve this run was given. This led to what has been perceived as a standoff between the competing companies at the bus terminal a couple of nights ago. But when we asked Floralia’s owner, Marvin Vanzie about it, he had a different perspective. He says it’s his company’s job to get more people in seats – and the air conditioning.
Marvin Vanzie, Owner/Director, Floralia: “Mr.Shaw is in a different position from me in that one I just run my company, my entity. From my end we could just put in our applications, voice our letters of interest. So what happens behind closed doors at the meetings with the transport board where Mr.Shaw is I have no idea of the details right ? I could just tell you that the 8pm express is an amazing thing for Belizens out of Belmopan who want to come back home express so the comfort you can have the reliability to make sure you get home on time we’re doing it for the Belizean people Dale. That’s our purpose there’s gonna be a lot of jobs at the time but our focus is on good service.”
Reporter: Yeah but Shaw’s technically blocked you guys from the run two nights ago. He said he was protecting his interest. You only had one passenger literally on that first run what happened Marvin ?
Marvin Vanzie, Owner/Director, Floralia: “Well you know as much as people have been using the word, again perspective, blocking Mr.Shaw has not been blocking anything. Mr.Shaw has been present and he’s been doing what he wants to do. One bus could reach where you’re loading people at a time because of the damages that are at the terminal so the other operator’s bus is right there loading up his people and then whoever wants to go to Belmopan after that is free to go on our bus. It’s for us it’s our responsibility now Floralia to continue to inform people we have an 8 PM express because it’s just starting so a lot of people won’t know that, a lot of people travel maybe at 6:00-6:30 they want to get home they’re afraid to travel any later not sure what bus is gonna be there so it’s just for us to do our job it has nothing to do with anybody blocking us and that one will become two and that two will become four and then we’ll have fifteen and you know how it goes.”
Vanzie added that while these additional runs mean more money for the company, he also sees it as a means to improve Belize’s economic development.
Marvin Vanzie, Owner/Director, Floralia: “I think it’s a combination of lucrative yes but also realize that something as small as this could actually stir up the economy a bit more because when people feel they could travel at a later time in the night they can actually be more active an spend more money taking drinks with their friends or doing shopping or just hanging out in the city until they say eight o’clock let me catch my Floralia. So instead of everybody rushing home and then you get to a city and by six o’clock is closed down that’s not necessarily good for the economy and so we want to do our party too to make sure people have that option.”