With last week’s decision by the San Pedro Town Council's to open the Boca del Rio Bridge to taxi drivers only (other than golf carts), a stream of backlash has flooded its way. Some objection to the Town Council’s decision has risen from residents in North Ambergris Caye, similar to the resistance that came as the town decided to remove the old ferry and construct a bridge to connect San Pedro Town core to North Ambergris Caye which is also within town boundaries.
Today, the San Pedro Town Council tells Ambergris Today that it has made the decision to open the Boca del Rio Bridge to taxi drivers; prior to this, vehicles no larger than a golf cart had access to the bridge. However with the high demand to access the resorts in North Ambergris Caye, development has prompted the San Pedro Town Council to allow taxi drivers to extend their services for tourists and residents who want faster access to their resorts and not be dependent on the scheduled runs of the local water taxis.
“Allowing taxis to have access to North Ambergris Caye via the Boca del Rio Bridge is on an ongoing trial base. There is no way of stopping progress,” commented Deputy Mayor Pablo Ico. “The program will be monitored and there are a few simple rules that need to be followed by taxi drivers.”
Taxis will only be allowed to cross from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day; the speed limit will be 10 miles per hour (less than the town limit of 15mph), and they are only allowed up to Las Terrazas which is 3.5 miles north of the bridge.
Mr. Ico also mentioned that there will be a daily recording of which taxi goes up north with the name of the taxi driver and license plate number logged in. If taxi driver is reported to be speeding and not staying within the road boundary, he will be penalized and not allowed to cross the bridge ever again.
The San Pedro Town Council will be holding a meeting later today with the Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia after which they will be holding a meeting with all the taxi associations to further discuss how this trial system will go about. Even a fixed fare for all taxi drivers will be discussed and implemented.
While there are a few North Ambergris Caye residents that bitterly oppose to a bit more traffic up north, there are a few who don't seem to mind and others are very open to the idea. The development of North Ambergris shouldn’t and can’t be stopped as it summons more development and progress in the area. Taking positive steps towards monitoring progress and maintaining sustainable development is the way to go. A positive outlook goes a long way.