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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Once again tonight, commuters heading out of Belize City are waiting for the bus to their homes in a less-than-adequate bus terminal.

It's all a result of hurricane Lisa, a roof lifter of a storm that tore up shelters all around the city. But this roof was essential in certainly one of the most trafficked public spaces.

Its absence has left the Belize City terminal at half its capacity to function, and the only people paying the price are commuters.

7News headed there this morning for a look at how the transport department has improvised through adversity but what we found out is that those who access the terminal on a daily, think it's not nearly enough.

Among the many things Hurricane Lisa took was the roof of Belize City's bus terminal.

And 2 and a half months later, the landing at the back that once offered adequate space and shade for waiting commuters is completely non-functional. And, some may say abandoned.

Cherisse Halsall
"What can you tell us about the state of this terminal?"

Hubert Martinez, Taxi provider
"Despicable, it's disgusting, I have never seen a terminal like this in my whole life. Indeed when the buses arrive they should allocate people to the terminal instead of dumping them on the street side."

And that's the temporary solution to the problem of space inside what is now half a terminal. Now, buses don't even drive disembarking passengers into the terminal, they just let them out on the street side where the hope is they can just spring off and go about their business.

Hubert Martinez, Taxi provider
" Only those buses that have to go on the road they make them go in, all the buses that just come in they drop off the people outside, and that's another problem because those buses can fit. Then they are going to stay, then the first bus that comes in with passengers they can come in and let go of the people inside, you know because right there. they put the people's lives in danger. You know somebody could get knocked down or whatever, that is another, a more bigger problem."

Hubert Martinez, Taxi provider
"The Prime Minister isn't trying to do anything. After the hurricane, three days after that some guy came took away all the zinc that was hung up and that was it, nothing else, when it's raining this place looks like they have animals, the Prime Minister treats the people like pigs."

And those who work around the terminal say there are other problems that pre-date the hurricane damage, and once it rains getting to the bathroom is impossible.

Hubert Martinez, Taxi provider
"If you guys had come the other day when it was raining, flooding from way there all to her e people walk in water. See how the people pile up right here, you know, there isn't space because over there people used to stay, you know, but right here it's crowded, you know, the people are suffering right here."

And that hardship is mainly the result of this temporary fix that's likely to last a while.

Eoan Henry, Porter
"Everyone was wondering, they want to ask these questions and lots of stuff but they said it's the government, what would the government do? it's like I can't help them, the government has to help themselves, so I can't do nothing about it. I see people go through a lot because sometimes we barely have chairs in the terminal to sit down, a lot, so we need to have you know, we need space in the terminal. We don't even have space to stand up because, we this terminal is a lot, they can fix the back. The hurricane what just happened , the hurricane carried a lot of things at the back of the terminal but they can fix it they just need to work on it."

Cherisse Halsall
"Any word on when they are going to rebuild that back part of the terminal?"

Edward Cruz, Terminal Vendor
"Well, it's to be announced, we are not sure up to this point so we just have to wait."

Cherisse Halsall
"And as a vendor here are you satisfied with that?"

Edward Cruz, Terminal Vendor
"No, I am not satisfied with that because we actually, everything is slow right now in the terminal, so we just have to wait until everything clears upland then we will get back to normal."

But not everyone is that optimistic.

Edward Cruz, Terminal Vendor
"Burn it down and start all over. Mein, it's like out of shape. I mean like yow, come on, you know the government makes so much money and yow they don't regulate nothing around here.These buses are going to end up killing a whole lot of people, the bus ain't no good, you know and I just think they take advantage of the people because this is their only means of transportation."

Cherisse Halsall
"I just wanted to ask you how you think this terminal looks?"

"Well, first I didn't notice but it doesn't really look like a modern one, maybe we should do something about it, I don't know, well I don't care I mean I don't have to stay here longer but it's maybe not the best impression when you arrive here."

But for those of us who do have to stay here and use this terminal at least once a month, maybe, just maybe, it's a good idea to try and do something.

According to our sources, the terminal takes in close to half a million dollars a year in bathroom fees and stall rental.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Transport Minister Making Promises For Terminal

Last night we took you to the Belize City Bus terminal to show you the state of the nation's most trafficked transport hub in the months after Hurricane Lisa.

The destruction of the terminal's passenger landing had left it with just 50% of its operating capacity, making it a facility that wasn't up to any codes, least of all the space needed in a post-pandemic public facility. That's what the hurricane did, and months later, nothing has changed.

Seems our report got the attention of the Minister of Transport who toured the facility today. We rushed out to meet him and here's a look at some of the promises he made about when we can expect the terminal to be back up and adequately running.

Cherisse Halsall:
"You came to the Belize bus terminal here today, tell me what have you been able to observe out here?"

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister Of Transport
"Well, I think we all see the same observation, and this portion was destroyed by the hurricane and immediately after the hurricane we submitted our estimates to the Ministry of infrastructure since it's their responsibility but at the same time, it is my Ministry. So, I have to figure how quickly we can get back up and running and so today we are here to do an assessment and to figure how quickly it can be done so hopefully within another two weeks to a month we can see some reconstruction begin."

Cherisse Halsall:
"In the short term thought Minister how do you feel about the fact that they, when buses arrive from our district, are letting people out on the side of the street, do you think that needs to change today?"

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister Of Transport
"Um, I can't say yes and I can't say no because the space inside is inadequate so when you come back here you can only utilize that portion and if three buses come in at the same time it might be difficult but I'm hopeful that we change as quickly as we can."

"Well I asked my CEO and my CTO to quickly give me a paper to take to cabinet because I said man, this is an urgency we are dealing with human beings and they need better accommodation here at the bus terminal."

We'll keep following this story to see if the Minister's timeline actually holds up.

Channel 7

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