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Minister Chebat discussed increase in water taxi fares

A week ago, Love News broke the story of fares to Caye Caulker and San Pedro via water taxis have jumped significantly. The increase was approved by the Belize Port Authority. The increase in fares includes a surcharge, which is dependent on the cost of fuel. Minister of Logistics, Michel Chebat was asked about this issue today and here’s what he had to say about it.

Michel Chebat, Minister of Logistics: “I believe that it was three years ago that their rates have been increased and with the increase in fuel they had reached out to the Belize Port Authority and I believe that they had employed a formula calculating the cost of fuel and other factors to come up to this and so it was a formula that was employed taking into consideration all the factors and this is how they came up with this tariff. Clearly any increase in cost in any services will initially have a little bit of an effect but I think we also must take into consideration the provision of the service which has become more costly due to no control of ours. You know we are finding ourselves in a world where everything the cost of fuel which is so fundamental to the provision of these services has skyrocketed and so it leaves us in a very difficult position.”

Reporter: And indeed a precarious position but some may argue that perhaps the increase in those water taxi fares should have probably staved off for a few months so that consumers and those who utilize the service can prepare.

Michel Chebat, Minister of Logistics: “Well you know there are always other options and there are always other opinions but I feel that the Belize Port Authority took into consideration all of the relevant factors at coming up at that formula at this time.”

Port Commissioner Major H. Gilbert Swaso told us on June 2 that the Port Authority will drop the fares if and when the cost of fuel falls.