Tuesday, April 23, 2024

SPTC addresses issue between taxi and golf cart operators

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The ongoing competition between taxi operators and golf cart rentals is slowly becoming an issue. Both groups struggle to make the most of the little business available on the island. The aggressive competition has resulted in mild altercations. Taxi drivers say that golf cart rental operators should not be at the entry ports (airport/water taxi) but at their respective offices/establishments. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has since informed the golf cart rental businesses of how they must operate within their trade license parameters.

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In a letter dated March 24th, the SPTC and the San Pedro Trade Licensing Board explained Section 6, Subsection 5 of the Trade Licensing Act, Chapter 66, of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011. This indicates that ‘Where any trade is carried on in more than one premises, a separate application shall be made in respect of each addition premises.’ The note further emphasized that trade licenses were issued for the businesses to operate from their respective offices. Working from another location is in direct contravention of the abovementioned Act. In the letter, the SPTC asked golf cart rental operators to cease operating in the vicinity of the airstrip, Central Park, and other public spaces where they are not authorized.

A couple of the golf cart rental operators spoke to The Sun, explaining that online business has decreased significantly because of the current COVID-19 situation. They no longer get enough reservations via emails or telephone calls and they need to seek business outside of their office to obtain customers. The cart rental proprietors added that they want to work with other service providers and hope the local authorities can put in place a better system so everyone can make a living without conflicts.

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Taxi drivers claim that they are abiding by the business’s regulations and believe it is not fair when others do not follow the law. They do not want golf cart rental operators near designated taxi areas.

The San Pedro Police Formation briefly stated that they have been monitoring the situation. A senior officer indicated that if there was legislation passed by the local government (SPTC), the issue could be better addressed on soliciting.

Despite the action taken by the SPTC, there are reports that nothing has changed. Taxi and golf cart operators reportedly compete at the ports of entry for customers. Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez said that it seems they might have to deal with the issue differently as tourists are beginning to complain. Details of that alternative approach to solving the problem were not provided.

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