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Screen_shot_2011-07-14_at_8.17.23_PMThe Orange Walk Bus Terminal…it’s been a mess from the very beginning, and we mean mess in the very literal sense of the word. Just a day after it opened, the terminal was closed to pedestrian and bus traffic because it was covered in mud. But the rain isn’t the only problem – the location is bad, the size is bad and the setup is bad. So bad that vendors have been forced to sell their food over open, filthy drains. Today our team was at the terminal, which is closed for the second time since it opened a couple weeks ago.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

Phillip de la Fuente – Mayor – OW

“I don’t think the Minister or his people know exactly what they want to do. They are taking the buses to the Public Works Department which cannot accommodate the buses. You have insufficient shed or shade for the commuters, when it rains it gets muddy, there is no parking for people, there is standing room only, for the commuters it is a little chaotic to put it lightly out there in the mornings. The Orange Walk Town Council on the other hand we are preparing a nice spacious area that commuters, bus owners and everybody could use. I still do not know what the final assessment of the Ministry of Transportation will be doing so I don’t have much that I could add to that.”

So the Mayor seems to have washed his hands of the whole terminal thing, and he’s probably right, since he did tell us from the very beginning that the Minister of Transport had gone completely behind his back with the new terminal. But where does that leave commuters and vendors who have to deal with the terminal? Well, between a rock and a hard place, as far as we could tell.

Phillip de la Fuente – Mayor – OW

“It is something that I have mentioned to the point man here but what the Minister of Transport will do is anybody’s guess. He still has not contacted me; I heard they were going to have a meeting here the other day but again I was not informed. Because of the hurry move to get the buses out there we were taken off guard, we did not have enough time to prepare where the vendors will go and when you have 20 to 30 women screaming down at you that they want a space to put up their little stalls so that they could get some money to send their kids to school I have to look into where I can accommodate them. The only space was over the drain but they were told that they have to put their bridge or a slab of cement or something over the drain so it is more sanitary. A lot of them have complied while some of them don’t want to do it but again I won’t be the one to impede a poor lady from making money to maintain her family.”

CTV-3 understands that Minister of Transport Melvin Hulse will be in Orange Walk tomorrow morning at 10:00am at the Gala Lounge to meet with Northern Bus Operators. We’ll see then what he has to say about the terminal.

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