Taxi operators say better roads needed in Spanish Town bus park

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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TAXI operators in the usually congested Spanish Town Municipal Bus Park in St Catherine are calling on the relevant authorities to fix the pothole-ridden roads inside the park.

“Mi tired fi lose tyre and front end [parts] inside this park,” one taxi operator who gave his name as Andy lamented. He plies the route from Spanish Town to Kitson Town via John's Road.

“Miss, you don't have to ask if we have problem with the road inside here because you have eyes can see,” added the taxi operator.

Another taxi operator, Rohan Thompson, also shared his frustration with the Jamaica Observer.

According to Thompson, a taxi operator could spend between $200,000 and $300,000 for damage to their vehicles per year, because of the condition of the road.

“Since year I have bought three sets of front tyres and one pair of back tyre; and one tyre cost me $6,000,” he said.

The taxi driver added that the bad road condition also causes traffic pile-up inside the park in the evenings, because “the drivers have to be taking dem time to avoid dropping down into the pothole them”.

The taxi operators, who pay $150 during the week and $100 on weekends to use the park, say they've reported the condition of the road to the authorities responsible for the park and to their respective taxi operators' associations. However, nothing has been done.

“Something need fi do about it man,” Thompson protested.

Meanwhile, reliable sources have informed the Observer that there have been minor improvements in the operation of the bus park since the newspaper reported last month that extortion, poor lighting and lack of police presence inside the park have contributed to rampant criminal activities there.

“Since (Senior Superintendent of Police Beau Rigabie) came, there has been more police in the park, and that is good.

“Lights have also been erected inside the park but we still need more because some areas are still in darkness,” the source added.

It was also revealed that dialogue is still ongoing about the establishment of a police post inside the bus park.

However, the Observer source said that even with these improvements, extortionists and other criminals still carry out unlawful activities.

“There are still holes in the fence and when they want a quick exit, that is where they use,” the source said.

“We need cameras in the park so we can identify who doing what; that would make us feel better,” the source insisted.

On Friday, several cops were seen on patrol in the park, but one shop owner said she still does not feel safe.

“A lot of the shop owners have either left or looking somewhere to go,” the shopkeeper said, adding that shop operators pay between $40,000-$97,000 per month for rent and maintenance but are not getting their money's worth.

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