President of the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (B.B.O.C.) Mr. Thomas Shaw, along with the Commissioner of Transport, the General Manager for Westline; Mr. Castillo and other relevant representatives; met this morning at the Belmopan Bus Terminal to bring resolution to a recent problem between both bus carriers. Plus news spoke firstly with Shaw who told us his side of the story.
Thomas Shaw – President BBOC:
They were just claiming that BBOC didn’t have the run, and Westline was called to do the run. But Westline didn’t have the permit either. So the guy’s saying, “You guys gave me this run. I don’t have to do it.” So he declined. He said he’s going to quit doing the 5:15 and have BBOC go back to the 5 o’clock express run from Belmopan to Belize City.
Castillo says that while Westline has the relevant permit for the 5:15pm Express run to Belize City. He says the company has been losing profits on this particular one as there are two other bus carriers who have runs only 15 minutes apart; one at 5pm and the other at 5:30pm
Mr. Castillo – General Manager for Westline:
Westline has an approved 5:15 Workers’ Express to take back to Belize City, which in the morning brings the Government workers at 6:45. However the BBOC was saying that we are in their time slot, which maybe true or is true. That is something that we were issued. We had paid for it, and we were exercising our rightful manner to do so. However, we had noticed that because the James Company pulls in along Westline at 5 p.m. and leaves 5:15, the same time-slot that we have, it was non-profitable for Westline. We had been struggling with this run for quite some time, and we even have been to the point that we had to lower our prices, just to try and cover our diesel expense and our salaries and stuff. The issue brought was that BBOC has a quarter to five that leaves 5 o’clock from the terminal. So if they come in before us, then James and ourselves are left with nothing to take back to Belize city.
So it’s in this light Westline’s representative decided to give up the run. Shaw says that he’s grateful they could have come to an agreement.
Thomas Shaw – President BBOC:
There was some sort of miscommunication between the runs, between BBOC and Westline. Actually today, we had a representative on board Westline and Claude Fraser, the Chairman of BBOC, and actually we came to a solution where the run was actually awarded back to BBOC. The representative from Westline, he stated that he doesn’t need to do it because he’s not making money. That was basically the outcome of the meeting. it was a successful meeting and we had a commissioner, Mr Belisle, who was quite attentive and listened to us, and BBOC actually came out on top, and i really want to thank the commissioner for that.
The 5pm Express run to Belize City by the BBOC resumed today under the permission of a temporary permit which will be made official by next week Thursday.