– company open to negotiations
Smart City Solutions’ parking meter project is expected to attract further controversy, with the placement of meters in front of some City schools.
Already, two meters have been placed along Carmichael Street in front of The Bishops’ High School. A third has been placed in front of the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre.
This means that a teacher who owns a car and works for six hours a day may end up paying as much as $1,200 a day, or $6,000 per week in parking fees. At present, parking fees are $200 an hour.
The company’s Public Relations Officer, Kit Nascimento, said that at the moment, no special parking rates are being offered to the parents of students, or their teachers.
He added that the company has had talks with private sector entities and government agencies, in order to come up with special packages. He said that no representative of any educational institution, or from the Guyana Teacher’s Union had made contact with the company to discuss having a special rate offered.
However, Nascimento said that the company is willing to consider special rates for school districts and is open to negotiating with the relevant stakeholders.
The company aims to install 157 parking meters in the city for 3237 parking spaces as part of the first phase of the project. The instruments will be placed along Quamina Street, Charlotte Street, Avenue of the Republic, King Street, Wellington Street, North Road, Hadfield Street, Regent Street, Croal Street, South Road, Robb Street, Camp Street, Church Street, Water Street and Brickdam.
There will be a fee of $50 for every parking rotation which lasts for 15 minutes. If persons breach their allotted time, wardens would place a lock on the wheel of the vehicle preventing it from moving. In the event of this, vehicle owners would have to pay an $8000 fine. If this fee is not paid, owners risk their vehicle being impounded.
Paid parking will be in effect from 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs from Monday to Saturday. Motorists will not have to pay on Sundays or any National holiday.
The parking meters were expected to come on stream in time for the 2016 Christmas season. However, this was postponed until later this month. Currently, the company is engaging in a promotional/education program in the city whereby motorists are being informed as to how the meters are to be used.
Based on information received, motorists will have to take note of the space number for each parking space before approaching the meter to make their payments using a GeoPark prepaid card which will be available at convenient locations. After following the printed instructions on the machine they will present their card to the scanner and be supplied with a printed receipt.
Drivers are to place that receipt on the dashboard of their vehicle in full view so that wardens will know that parking would have been paid for and secondly, how much time is left for the customer.
The parking meter project has received much criticism regarding its implementation. The M&CC was condemned for not putting the contract up for public bidding and for not conducting consultations with those who stand to be affected.
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