Letters — 23 February 2005

The return trip from Belmopan on Sunday was a prime example. Granted, most of the buses were probably hired for the PUP national convention, but should paying customers take the brunt of this? From when we pulled out of the terminal the aisle was jammed and still more people were waiting to get on. For every person who got off, two got on, so the situation never improved. The bus was driven in first gear for most of the time. Finally, halfway up a hill it stopped. Everyone had to exit the bus and walk up to the top, not a good thing for several of the elderly passengers. Of course, when you got back on, no one was assured they would get their seat back, if they had one before.

Chugging along in first, the bus growling and grumbling all the way, we came finally to Busman Arnold?s hill where, much to the chagrin of everyone, we had to get out once more and trudge, this time in light rains, up this steeper hill. When we finally succeeded in reaching San Ignacio it was close to two hours since we had left Belmopan. Is this what we pay for ? pay to ride and end up walking? I don?t think so! We pay to ride all the way, and sitting in a seat, ripped and torn as it may be.

An older American tourist sitting beside me commented, when we came into San Ignacio and saw all the parked buses from the convention people, that it looked like a graveyard for old American school buses. Perhaps retirement home would be a better analogy, since most of them do work most of the time, but the situation is not improving, even though we have been told better buses have been brought into the country.

Surely the Belizean people, who depend on buses for transportation deserve to ride comfortably, as much as, or more than, these cruise tourists who spend so little time and money in the country.

Pat Asling, Benque Viejo

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