Online Water Taxi Rates Sometimes Double the Allowed Fare
And for those who purchase water taxi tickets online, some water taxi operators offer their services in U.S. dollars at a significantly higher mark up via a reservation system on their websites. News Five looked at one such site today, using this Saturday’s date. We found the price for a one way from Belize City to Caye Caulker to be twenty U.S. dollars. The currency was clearly marked for no misunderstanding. We asked Commissioner Swaso for some clarity on online ticket prices and whether this has been approved as a special tourist rate, or for those who like the convenience of buying online rather than at the terminal. He says that is being investigated as well.
“Is there approval, as I see with the Hokey pokey specifically, tourist fares? I ask because some of these operators they have fees online that are in US currency, so much so that it doubles, for example the round trip from San Pedro to Belize City for San Pedro Belize Express, while it is fifty five dollars maximum round trip fare. On the website, it is fifty five, maybe fifty six, fifty seven U.S. dollars.”
Major Gilbert Swaso, Commissioner, Belize Port Authority
“What we published are the approved rates. Anything outside of that they are unlawful and illegal. As far as we are concerned, I have indicated there is a mechanism where the operator can request for any approved fee to be approved given the justification.”
Any water taxi operator found guilty of such an offence, shall be subject to a fine of five thousand dollars for each offence. The Port Commissioner may also revoke the license of any water taxi operator. We will continue to follow.