Transport in Belize
Most Belizeans travel the country using public buses as their primary form of transportation. In the larger towns and cities, such as Belize City or Belmopan, there are bus terminals. In smaller places, there are bus stops. However, the most common way of catching a bus is by flagging it down on the road. On the Northern and Western Highways, bus service is more frequent than on smaller highways and other roads. In some locations, like small towns, buses may run only once a day. Buses are classified as either Regular runs (usual prices) or Express runs (faster, for slightly higher prices). Some Belizeans prefer riding bikes due to traffic, or the time of day. Many buses are Greyhounds or school buses, although newer express buses travel the two main highways.
A new zoning system was implemented on Sunday, October 19, 2008. Accordingly, the country is divided into zones: Northern (highway/rural), Southern (highway/rural), Western (highway/rural). Bus providers are restricted to assigned zones:
- Buses that can operate on the highway in the Southern Zone are: James Bus Line, Usher Bus Line, G-Line Service.
- Buses that can operate in the rural areas of the Southern Zone are: Chen Bus Line, Yascal Bus Line, Smith Bus Line, Richie Bus Line, Martinez Bus Line, Williams Bus Line, Radiance Ritchie Bus Line, Polanco Bus Line.
- Buses that can operate on the highway in the Western Zone are: Guerra's Bus Service, D and E, Shaw Bus Service, Belize Bus Owner's Cooperatives (B.B.O.C.).
- There was no change in the runs in the Western Zone's rural area at this time.The early run starts at three in the morning leaving Benque Viejo Town going toward Belize, and the last run leaving Belize City terminal heading towards Benque Viejo town leaves at nine pm. Hence,the time of the runs changes on weekend from every half-an-hour to an hour. The Northern Zone bus runs continue as they are at this time, with the exception of the Ladyville Shuttle Service which will now be provided by Skai's Bus Line, Flores Bus Service and Ramos Bus Service.
- total: 3,007 km
- country comparison to the world: 167
- paved: 575 km
- unpaved: 2,432 km (2006)
Belize has four major asphalt-paved two-lane roads: the Hummingbird Highway, Southern Highway, Western Highway, Northern Highway. The remaining roads are unpaved, rough and in poor condition. A 9-mile stretch of the Southern Highway near Big Falls is unpaved as well. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, as in the United States.
- 825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2008)
- country comparison to the world: 72
Ports and terminals
- 44 (2008)
- country comparison to the world: 97
- total: 4
- 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
- 914 to 1,523 m: 1
- under 914 m:2 (2008)
- total: 40
- 8,000 to 10,000 ft (2,438 to 3,047 m): 1
- 3,000 to 5,000 ft (914 to 1,523 m): 12
- under 3,000 ft (914 m): 27 (2008)
As of 2008, an estimated 44 airports and airstrips were in operation. The international airport is Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, outside of Belize City. Currently, the international airport is served by American, Continental, Delta, TACA and US Airways, along with local airlines Maya Island and Tropic. A runway expansion program set to be completed in 2007 may allow larger aircraft to land and may encourage new direct or nonstop service from Europe and Canada. Also in Belize City is the Municipal Airport.
Two airlines, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, provide frequent service around Belize. In most cases, both airlines have service from the international airport, Philip S. W. Goldson, in Ladyville 9 miles north of Belize City, and from the Belize City Municipal Airport in the city, to San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Dangriga, Placencia, Punta Gorda, and to Flores in Guatemala, and one airline serves Savannah at Big Creek. There is also service from San Pedro to Sarteneja and to Corozal Town. The airlines typically fly small single-engine equipment, such as the Cessna Caravan.
Currently, Belize does not offer any rail transport. In 1913, Stann Creek Railway operated between Dangriga and Middlesex Estate and was abandoned in 1937 leaving some railway bridges along the Hummingbird Highway.
The FERISTSA Railway was proposed to connect Mexico with Panama; if built, it might bypass Belize unless a branch were built.
- ^ New Bus Transport System , press release, Belmopan, October 17, 2008.
- ^ "Shaw Group in talks with US railroad cos for Feristsa project, Central America, Infrastructure, news". Retrieved 2010-10-16.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.
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