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Cadiz: Use Park and Ride or face wrecker
Use the Park and Ride service or face the $500 wrecking fee. That was the ultimatum Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz gave as he launched the Public Transport Service Corporation’s Park and Ride initiative on Wednesday at Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Cadiz said it was designed to ease traffic congestion in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando during the Christmas season but he proposed to have it run throughout the year.
“If it is any incentive, you have a choice: Either pay $500 to the wrecker or $20 to PTSC and I don’t think there is any math in that. There is no decision to make there, the $20 is the way to go,” Cadiz said. The service allows the public to park their cars at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) and the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, from where they will be shuttled to downtown San Fernando.
From Monday, the three buses allocated for the Park and Ride service will leave the venues at 30-minute intervals from 7 am to 6 pm daily. Cadiz said there would be secured parking even if customers returned late for their vehicle. He added: “When we talk about building multi-story car parks, yes, it is necessary, because not everybody can access the parking areas outside of the city. “Some people need to have their motor cars in the city and what we need to do is find ways and means of dealing with that.
“But for those of us who work 8 am to 4 pm, who will not jump in their cars for the balance of the day, let us use the Park and Ride. You can’t get a better deal than $20 a day for parking.” He said he has also been talking with Chaguanas mayor Gopaul Boodan on introducing the service in the borough. Cadiz said while the ministry and PTSC examined the feasibility of continuing the service beyond the Christmas season, there needed to be greater co-operation between the water taxi service and the bus service.
Among the proposals is a service that allows people who live in areas outside the city and work in Port-of-Spain to park their vehicles at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba and other venues. They can then board a shuttle to the Water Taxi Terminal at King’s Wharf, en route to Port-of-Spain, all for one fee. Speaking at the launch, deputy San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello called on Cadiz to help the city corporation get two locations to accommodate public parking in San Fernando.
Despite his endorsement of the Park and Ride, Regrello said the cancellation of 1,400 public parking spaces at the Chancery Lane Complex, coupled with the growing vehicle population, had caused traffic chaos in San Fernando.
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