Handcart operators pushing with KSAC - More than 300 licensed and registered within the first week
Andrew Harris, Gleaner Writer
HANDCART OPERATORS in downtown Kingston now appear fully onboard with the recently introduced registration policy.
Last week, more than 400 handcart drivers and owners turned up at St William Grant Park, in the heart of downtown Kingston, with their $3,000 in hand, to ensure that they were registered.
Owners of handcarts, who rent them to other persons, paid a registration fee of $500 for each cart.
The requirements for registration for handcart operators are two passport-sized photographs, signed by a justice of the peace or a minister of religion, along with Tax Registration Number. Registration closes on Friday.
For many of the handcart operators, the decision by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) to introduce a registration system, with carts colour-coded, letter-coded and number-coded, was a step in the right direction.
"Well, this is definitely a good thing because, when the handcart drivers hit people with the carts, it cost us," said Ramon, a handcart renter.
"When we charge them $400 to rent the carts now, it will work out good for us," he said.
Fellow handcart operator Norman Jones agreed that the KSAC's move was positive.
"Well, I have been driving handcart for three months, and I think this is a good thing because now we can be identified by our licence-plate number so, if we do something wrong, the people can easily know is who," Jones told The Gleaner.
Meanwhile, Town Clerk Errol Greene said the policy of registering and licensing handcarts is not new.
"The policy has just been reintroduced as it was around in the 1950s," said Greene.
"I am very happy that they are cooperating with us and, based on the turnout, they took what we said seriously. Those who don't register have to face the penalty, and will be dealing with the police," added Greene.
He said the KSAC is determined to make downtown Kingston a better place for everyone.