Traffic, revenues depleted at Linstead transport centre
From a projection of $47,000 daily to $3,000 on a good day is the reality that faces operations at the Linstead Transportation Centre in St Catherine.
The manager, Henry Marshall, told The Gleaner that the park, which opened in February 2016, was designed to accommodate 50 buses, and 150 motor cars should utilise the centre six days per week.
“ We charge $200 per day for motor cars, and buses pay $350 from Monday to Saturday, and Sundays are free, but the park remains virtually empty. We need urgent help to get these operators inside here,” Marshall said.
The manager said that in the initial stages, there was about 60 per cent compliance, but it has depleted and worsened with the coronavirus pandemic.
“There have been several meetings with the Municipal Corporation and the police, but nothing has change. The overhead grows as there are 14 staff, plus other recurring expenses. It’s very bad for business,” Marshall said.
Meanwhile, the few faithful operators of public-passenger vehicles who utilise the park are concerned about the conditions.
“When you go inside the town, there is hardly any room to drive, yet is about 10 cars use inside here daily, and the police not helping the others to comply,” Devon McNaughton said.
His views were supported by others who added that they were losing passengers to those on the road and still were paying to use the King Street facility.
When The Gleaner ventured inside the town about 100 metres from the park, the vehicles were parked blocking the thoroughfare and business establishments and men were shouting to get passengers.
It was revealed that Spanish Town, Bog Walk, New Works, and Guys Hill are numbered among the routes that the park was built to accommodate.
“The park ting nah work fast enough for me. The park take too long to get a load. Di man dem pan di road get dem load as you quint, and is money we need. The park can only work if everybody a go use it, you see,” Steadman Black said.
Some passengers gave reasons why they used the road instead of the designated area.
“Bwoy! As mi come out a di market a vehicle mi see, so mi nuh get time fi walk to di park. Bwoy! Di police dem affi come deal with di problem as di town pack up bad,” a female vendor said.
Several business operators also complain about the vehicles blocking customer entrances and the general disorder that the free-for-all is causing.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Norman Scott says that the problem is one that needs urgent attention.
“The situation there is the reality and needs to be addressed like yesterday,” Scott said.
Head of the St Catherine North Police Senior Superintendent of Police Beau Rigabie is aware of the conditions.
“It is a case where indiscipline has taken over the public transportation system, and Linstead is no exception, but the police stand resolute and will continue to work within its commitment,” Rigabie said.