GOB releases new standards for public transportation
Friday, February 17th, 2023
The current administration came into power in November 2020. As soon as the new Government of Belize (GOB) settled down, the different ministries started working on their plans. One of those government branches is the Ministry of Transport. With the Honourable Rodwell Ferguson, one of their aims was to modernize public transportation in the country. The ministry worked on the requirements, and after almost three years, the standards to fully update the country’s public transit were released on Thursday, February 16th.
The required improvements are related to the public transport buses operating on the mainland. However, it will apply to all forms of transportation, such as small vans (busitos) and taxis. The aim is to provide Belizeans and visitors with a comfortable experience when travelling across towns and cities. The plan also aims to encourage stakeholders to adopt a tradition of constantly upgrading their fleet of vehicles to attract more business to the transport sector.
According to a communique from GOB, Minister Ferguson presented to Cabinet the recommended standards on January 10th. The proposal expects to fully modernize the public ground transportation fleet by the end of 2024.
The Cabinet supported the plan to see the fleet modernization within 12 years. In addition, to keep the operators with the increased economic investment required, the permit period was also extended from two to 10 years, based on the bus age.
According to GOB, the modernization will include complete standard operating procedures consisting of a fleet inspection program and upgrades. The new standards require operators to update 50% of their fleet by the end of December 2023 and fully upgrade by the end of 2024. The ministry said it would continue developing consultations with all key stakeholders to ensure it benefits the entire transportation sector.
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