Castro: no bus stops in Belize for ADO

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Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, Edmond Castro, has weighed in on the bus wars between ADO Bus of Mexico and the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC). B.B.O.C. has charged that ADO’s new run at 11 a.m. daily, which started on Friday, will take away customers from them.

But in speaking with PLUS News via telephone Saturday evening, the Transport Minister called that an attempt to “mislead” the public and went on to explain the financial practicalities:

Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State with responsibility for Transport;

How on earth can anybody say that the ADO bus that is leaving at 11:00 o’clock is stopping and picking up passengers when yesterday or whatever day it was, was the first day. The same day that they were protesting was the first day so could they say that the bus is stopping and picking up passengers? I think they are misleading you guys and misleading the nation, that was the first day that ADO started to run to Mahaual Merida, Cancun or wherever they go. They are not leaving from Belize to Chetumal, they are leaving I believe their first stop is in the Mahaual Area. They are not competing with no Belizean buses for commuters. They are taking people that want to go to Merida for medical attention or whatever or Cancun, They are not catering for Belizeans who want to go to Chetumal. It’s not financially practical for me and you that is going to Chetumal to ride an ADO to even go close to the boarder at their price. The regular price for our express bus is about 12 dollars, compare that to what you would pay on ADO which is nearly approximately 25 dollars.

Castro also noted that some local operators, like Morales Transport, have Greyhound coach-style buses which are the equivalent of ADO and international operators.

ADO, the Minister revealed in our interview, had asked for a morning run due to demands from customers, who wanted the added convenience of getting to their destination earlier and returning to the Jewel by nightfall. The company already does a night run from Belize City.

But apart from specific stop points in Belize, he stated, ADO or other international operators are not allowed to pick up passengers anywhere in Belize. He explains what will happen if evidence to the contrary is provided:

Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State with responsibility for Transport;

Everybody in Belize has a camera so if any ADO is stopping to pick up anybody all it takes is one picture of ADO doing that and will have to discontinue, they are not allowed to do that. BBOC has their regular run and their express run, ADO is not catering to their commuters, nobody is taking nothing away from BBOC or any Belize Bus Company for that matter.

we have understand that BBOC has scheduled an appointment with the Transport Department.

Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State with responsibility for Transport;

I haven’t check with the CEO or the chairperson of the board Chief Transport Officer but they are entitled to that and they will be briefed and informed and they will walk away with more knowledge. I don’t know what their stops are but they should not be picking up passengers on the highway. In ADO case, they might stop in Orange Walk or Corozal because we have people from Orange Walk or Corozal that needs to go to Merida or how else will they catch the bus?

For the other operators, Castro told us that they pay seventy-five dollars for each trip into Belize and must show a manifest at the border. Apart from going to the water taxis to pick up their passengers, the same applies to them: no pick-ups on the highways. The Minister also told us he was not aware of any planned meeting with B.B.O.C. operators and the Department of Transport but is not opposed to one, saying he hopes they come away with a better understanding of the situation.

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