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#399794 - 02/08/11 03:43 PM Court allow schedules for Northern Bus Routes
Marty Offline

In 2009 the now defunct National Transport bus company filed an injunction in the Supreme Court to stop the Transport Department from implementing bus schedules for the northern route similar to those that are in place for the west and south of the country. But the court ruled in favor of the Department last week and today, wasting no time, the Department held its first meeting with bus owners from the north. According to Minister of Transport, Melvin Hulse, the purpose is to come up with proposals for the north.

Melvin Hulse, Minister of Transport

Melvin Hulse

“Before we could have implemented the northern zone, which captured the villages of the Belize Rural, the whole of Orange Walk, both villages and town, and the Corozal District, villages and town. Before we could have implemented a northern zone there was an injunction put against us against the implementation of the northern zone until a judicial review has been done. Well, after two years the judicial review is completed and the court s have exonerated us so our responsibility is to immediately – the injunction was lifted on Thursday, the Department of Transport immediately start to gather information of what actually was happening on the ground, a draft proposal put on a proposed schedule, capturing the separation of villages in these three areas and the town and so this was our first consultation meeting with all the people who actually running buses out here. You need to bear in mind that most all the permits that have been in the north have already expired long long ago but the injunction said that we must leave the status quo as it was so we couldn’t issue any permit, nor could we renew any permit. We need to ensure that there are adequate amount of buses for the commuters and so far it’s looking like there will be a need for about fifty eight buses, doing from Santa Elena to Belize on a daily basis, exclusive of the village runs. Every member have the proposed schedule. We will meet again next Saturday and they will each view the proposed schedule and fine-tune it in a practical sense so we could get it all regulated and I think it will work. I see it working out because they realize that it noh mek sense fi have wah lotta bus running. There will be no more racing and we definitely want to avoid that atrocious condition where people were overloading.”

Minister Hulse says he expects that the northern zone will be implemented by April first.

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#399795 - 02/08/11 03:43 PM Re: Court allow schedules for Northern Bus Routes [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT MEETS WITH NORTHERN BUS OPERATORS

Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting.....
The Ministry of Transport met over the weekend with bus operators of the north to determine bus routes and bus schedules for the northern part of the country. An injunction which was placed against the Ministry of Transport did not allow the implementation of the ministry’s zoning in this area, but when that was lifted last Thursday, the Ministry jumped into action. Transport Minister Melvin Hulse says meeting with the bus operators was the first step to getting an idea of what is actually taking place on the ground.

Melvin Hulse – Minister of Transport
“There will be no more racing, and we definitely want to avoid that atrocious condition where people were overloaded. One of the things that will help, is that two of the Village runs from Orange Walk and Sarteneja will be able to go straight through to Belize, bypassing Orange walk Town and too there will now be people who will be doing Village runs from Crooked Tree and that is where a lot of the people come from, there will be Village runs out of Sandhill, Maskall, Maxboro, Los Lagos. We already have Ladyville, so that will take out the leaving behind of a lot of people. And I see from the volume of buses that runs in the North, I see that we just need to fine tune Operation. I see this being one of the easier areas to regulate because they already have so many buses.”

The zoning idea should address several of the issues that commuters have raised over the years.

Melvin Hulse – Minister of Transport
“We went through clearly what is the definition and terms and condition of our zone, how it operates, the conduct of bus Conductors, the role that the Terminal Managers play in the enforcement of the zoning, and also we have given them an opportunity to look at the proposed draft to see, because in spite of us having contacted people and got a sense of the actuality of what is happening on the ground and the hours. This first meeting is for them who have been doing this, to let us get a sense of, if we are missing, if we need to ensure that we don't have too many buses on the road, but we need to ensure that there is an adequate amount of buses for the commuter, and so far it looks like there will be a need for about 58 buses, doing from Santa Elena to Belize on a daily basis, exclusive of the Village runs.”

Orange Walk commuters are challenged with the inconvenience of not having a bus terminal. We asked Hulse how the Ministry plans to address this situation.

Melvin Hulse- Minister of Transport
“The Ministry did not inherit any Terminal in Orange Walk. What we are trying to do is several things simultaneously. We are trying to get the Ministry of Works Compound built in San Juan, which would really take them out of Orange Walk, and use the current Ministry of Works Compound as a terminal. In the interim period we'll be asking Atlantic Bank who owns a piece of empty property here, if we could rent or lease it from them where we could put in probably a Mennonite house and Office and consolidate everything and take them off the street. So the Chief Transport office is in constant communication with Atlantic Bank Managers so we could rent that property in the mean time, because we have to find some temporary source or venue that we can use because we cannot continue to have them on the street. It makes no sense at all."

Hulse says by the 1st of April, a temporary Terminal should be in place while the funding is being sought to construct a Terminal at the Ministry of Works Compound in Orange Walk Town. Bus operators of the North will meet again this coming Saturday to discuss the Bus schedules.

LOVEFM


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