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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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The Belize Port Authority wishes to advise the general public that the approved passenger fares for water taxi services are as set out below. The Belize Port Authority has not approved any increase in passenger fares and any charges to commuters above the approved rates are unlawful and will not be tolerated.

Commuters are asked to report any attempts by water taxi operators to charge more than the approved rate and to provide evidence of such unlawful act to the Belize Port Authority. Where commuters present evidence of excess charges (i.e., a ticket stub), the water taxi operator will be required to refund the excess charges to the commuter. In addition, the Belize Port Authority will bring charges against that water taxi operator for breach of the Harbours and Merchant Shipping (Water Taxi) Regulations.

Any water taxi operator found guilty of such an offence, shall be subject to a fine of $5,000 for each offence (for every ticket sold). Furthermore, the Ports Commissioner may revoke the license of any water taxi operator convicted for an offence under the aforementioned regulations.

The Belize Port Authority is alarmed at the total disregard for the law by some water taxi operators and it has taken urgent and immediate steps to ensure that all water taxi operators are in full compliance with the Water Taxi Regulations and that the rights of commuters are properly safeguarded.

The approved passenger fares are as follows:

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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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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.

Paul Lopez

"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.

Channel 5



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