I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring to attention a serious issue regarding public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can express my distress on the situation prevailing when it comes to being dependent on the last bus to reach home. There is no public transportation going north between the hours of 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., thus, forcing me to wait for the last 7:30 p.m. bus, which is normally always overcrowded.
Overcrowding is one of the major concerns for the daily commuters. From Monday to Friday commuters are faced with overcrowding, especially in the morning hours and at night. The drivers are careless, since they allow the bus to surpass its passenger capacity, which contributes to the real issue of the transportation problem.
The problem is that there is no mechanism in place to monitor routes which could lead to decreasing the problem of overcrowding and standees on the buses. Overcrowded buses lead to a lack of safety for commuters.
This problem commences from before the bus leaves the Belize City terminal, to its destinations in Orange Walk and Corozal. Passengers are faced with no alternative than to rush among the crowd in order to get a seat on the bus.
The last bus leaves the terminal with standees, and yet makes a stop at the Pallotti bus stop for more passengers who are waiting to get home. A majority of passengers waiting at the Pallotti bus stop and Ladyville junction only need to reach Sandhill, Gardenia and Biscayne, but because there is no bus to cater for their need to get home, they are obliged to depend on the last bus, as well.
Yes, we know that everyone wants to reach home, but this problem needs to be addressed, because many lives are put at risk. What if there is an accident? Imagine what would happen. Therefore, I appeal to the Government, Transport Department and all stakeholders involved, to take action in this matter and enforce the laws to alleviate the problem.
It is recommended to add a 7:00 p.m. bus destined for the north, or alternatively, make available a bus for the passengers going to Biscayne in order to level off the passengers waiting for the 7:30 p.m. bus.
I think this would increase the safety and efficiency of public transportation for the area.