Edmund Castro in 2012 , as the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, appeared determined to address some of the overwhelming problems faced by regular commuters. As it turned out, one of the most pervading problems was the overcrowding of buses. Several amendments were made to the bus system and the laws prohibiting the overcrowding of public buses began to be enforced more fervently and for some time it worked. The overcrowding of buses seemed to have become a thing of the past. But that lasted only a few weeks, as bus operators found other ways to circumvent the restrictions on number of passengers per bus. One resident of Belize City and a former teacher says she is tired of it and decided to capture it on video.
“While coming on the stop again at cemetery to pick up more people, so I got up and I told them you know what this bus is over packed, I said you’re not suppose to over pack the bus, because they didn’t want anyone on James Bus Line to stand up, so why Western Line will carry passengers like this. The guy looked at me and told me, “shut up *****”. We got to like Mile 41, somewhere along there on Mile 41 almost before you get to Saint Matthews, that’s when a next man told them that there’s checkpoints. These times I already videoed some of the people standing in the bus, then he told the people sit down, and if they sit down I said I will still tell the traffic officers people sitting on the floor. He then stopped a bus and took the people off the bus and put them on another bus until we got to Belmopan.”
According to Miss Lino, upon reaching the Belmopan Bus Terminal, she placed a formal compliant at the department of transport, but remains convinced that something like that should not have happened in the first place.
“So what they need to do is put more traffic officers out there and crack down on all of the busses that are overloading. They need to put more buses to run on time, to run for the passengers, because people work here in Belize, not everyone is idle.
Reporter: “Now tell me what you did after you came back from the bus terminal in Belmopan.”
Adrian Lino: “Well I took a stop at the terminal, I went to the place to look for Mr. Jefferies to see if he was there, he wasn’t there, I got his second, so I reported to him, I gave him the video and everything and he called the next guy and asked him to get all particulars from the driver and the bus information and took it in to him. When I took it in the man said, “Western Line again?” So he said Miss Rose thank you for bringing this in to me.”
Reporter: “Are you satisfied with the result?”
Adrian Lino: “Yes I am.”
The transport department advises commuters to report any unlawful behavior of drivers or conductors of public buses.