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Minister of Transportation Rodwell Ferguson pushing for bus industry to undergo significant change by mid-2022

Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2021. 12:52 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “When I came on board, I realized there was no standard in the Ministry of Transportation, so I committed that we were going to transform the entire industry and likewise the transportation services,” said Minister of Public Utilities, Energy, and Logistics Rodwell Ferguson on Plus TV at the launching of new bus line Floralia on Monday in Belmopan. “I have a very young staff and I put them to the test and took up the challenge.”

Ferguson has said on several occasions, and he did so again on Monday at the launching of the Floralia bus line in Belmopan, that the bus industry has to undergo significant change by June 2022.

But that’s not going to be easy for the bus operators who at this point are crying that operating at 75 percent capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, is affecting their pockets particularly now that gas prices have skyrocketed and seem headed to more increases.

“COVID will be here to stay, and I believe by next year we have to live with it or figure what is the next way forward,” said Ferguson.

“To be very frank, as the minister responsible, there too many small operators across this country and we will have to do something whereby they can come together to figure how they can make their runs profitable. Too much runs at the same time with no passengers. So, I’m hoping that they get the sense and this is the way forward.”

Ferguson said the industry has to standardize bus terminals, licenses and routes have to be reviewed, and buses have to be renewed. Ferguson has said before that the buses currently running are too old.

Ferguson said earlier talking about the pilot electric buses program that should start by mid-2022, that the country has to go electric in the future. However, before going electric, Ferguson said by June 2022, Belize must change the ‘school buses’ to coach buses. He said the Energy Ministry is in discussion with ADO bus company in Mexico to acquire four-year-old coach buses for use in Belize.

On Monday, Ferguson said his ministry will facilitate operators so they can make long-term investments by extending road service permits from two years to eight to ten years.

 

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