Ministry of Transport Pushes for Bus Upgrades

Ministry of Transport Pushes for Bus Upgrades

The Ministry of Transport has committed to working with bus operators to upgrade commuter buses country-wide. On Monday, the ministry met with the Belize Bus Association to discuss the mandatory upgrade of buses. Operators were given up to the end of this year to upgrade at least fifty percent of their fleet and will have until December 2024 to ensure all their buses are up to standard. Operators have noted that the venture is a costly one that comes with many challenges. However, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Transport, Adele Catzim, there was pushback from the operators this time around. 

Adele Catzim, CEO, Ministry of Transport: “Well we had an excellent meeting with the president of the bus owner association Mr.Shaw as well as other big operators. So we had the BBOC as well as James Bus Company and West Line as well as the two members of the Belmopan Busitos Association in the meeting with us yesterday afternoon. In that meeting I think we all agreed that it’s important for us to upgrade the bus standards so there was no push back from them on that end. We realize that that is a key aspect of road safety and that we will continue to enforce the bus standards, the new bus standards that are coming about. It must be noted though that the bus standards that we are requiring are already embedded within existing legislation so we’re not doing anything that is outside the existing legal framework for bus standards. What we’re doing is is just reminding the bus operators that we will work with them to have a timeline for when we will transition to having 100% compliance. So just for clarification purposes we decided that at least 50% of the bus fleets, and this is for bus operators that run the major highways, that by the end of December of this year 50% compliance is what we’re working towards and then by next year at the end of 2024 we are targeting 100% compliance and we all agreed to that.”

CEO Catzim added that the ministry will also be working with operators and may support their applications for financing from their preferred financial institutions. 

Adele Catzim, CEO, Ministry of Transport: “I think that the major thing that was discussed and fine tuned a little bit was the financing. So the financing aspect for the investment that bus owners are making that is where there needs to be a little bit more dialogue but the ministry has agreed that we will do what we can on our end to support their applications when they go to whichever banking institution they prefer to approach to be able to get the financing to transition and so we are in dialogue about that, we understand that the public transportation system in Belize, particularly the buses that run on major highways that the model that we have used traditionally is a public private partnership model and we have no intention to change that. We understand that there has to be investment on their end, we understand that the banks need to look at all the data when they’re making their decisions for investing in the public transportation system and we want to play our part as government in providing whatever support we can and ensuring that we also look at things from multiple perspectives. This includes the perspective of the bus operators who are the investors, what the bank needs to have in hand to be able to make their decision as well as what commuters need to be able to enjoy a more safe and efficient public transportation system in the country.”

The initiative is a part of the government’s plan to modernize the transport industry.

Related post

IMF Report: Belize’s Economy Shows Remarkable Growth Despite Global Challenges

IMF Report: Belize’s Economy Shows Remarkable Growth Despite Global…

With Belize being a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country is scheduled to periodically undergo assessments by the…
World Bank Joins IMF in Concerns Over Belize’s Public Sector Wage Bill

World Bank Joins IMF in Concerns Over Belize’s Public…

Interestingly, the IMF is not the only one that has expressed concerns over the public sector wages.  While the National Trade…
Repeat Offender: Dangriga Man Faces Rape Charges for Second Time, Victim Only 15

Repeat Offender: Dangriga Man Faces Rape Charges for Second…

Dangriga Police reportedly has a man in custody who is facing rape charges, yet again.  The man whose identity cannot be…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *