Parking meters to be installed

Georgetown will soon get parking meters as City Hall moves to introduce this new system by September. This was announced by the Chairman of the National Parking Systems (NPS) and the Director of Smart City Solutions, Kamau Cush after the recent signing of the contract between NPS and the Georgetown Mayor andparking-meter2 City Council (M&CC).

Of significance however, was the total cost attached to the provisions of the parking meters. The Chairman of NPS and the Director of Smart City Solutions said the cost for the first phase of setup of this technology is more than US$10 million and this will increase with each phase. He did not specify how many phases there would be but instead said that this investment will assist in making the President’s dream of a clean and green Guyana become a reality, while reducing the congestion and accumulating revenue.

“The cost for the first phase is north of US$10 million and as we move forward it will be more but President Granger has articulated a vision of a clean and green Guyana in general, and a clean and green Georgetown in particular, and so the Mayor and Councils of the City of Georgetown have embraced that vision. We at Smart City Solutions share that vision and with the introduction of our on street paid parking systems; this will be one step forward in the movement towards actualising President Granger’s vision. The meters will contribute to a reduction of pollution, reduction of congestion in our city, regulation of traffic and more significantly, it will create a brand new stream in Georgetown,” Cush said.

Cush told Guyana Times that 3000 spaces would be allocated for parking, with a parking meter attached to every 10 spaces, totalling 300 parking meters being installed in busy areas, charging $125 every 15 minutes, allowing an expected yearly income of approximately $100-$200 million. He indicated that this revenue will be used by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to facilitate the amenities and services that it is mandated to deliver, adding that installations of the parking meters would begin in September 2016 with an intention of being concluded by September month end.

However, Cush relayed that there will be a reduced cost of $100 per trip for taxi and minibus operators. “What we are proposing for the minibus and taxi drivers in the various parking lots is $100, once they come in, they pay $100 fill up then leave, then they come back, pay another $100 and move. For those drivers, the just have to pay $100 for however long they take to fill up, it doesn’t matter. It will be counted by trips for them.”

According to Cush, in a press conference held on Friday, the proposal for the country to endorse parking meters was made 20 years ago, and it has been three years since workers have commenced preparations to facilitate the installations, highlighting that workers have currently been assigned to measuring the length and widths of every road in Georgetown.

It was also explained to this publication that while there will be consultations with members of the Guyana Police Force, in terms of security, the primary law enforcements to be assigned would be the City Constabulary Officers.

Meanwhile, when Guyana Times spoke to a few drivers in Georgetown, there was a mixture of displeasure and acceptance to this new initiation by the M&CC. While some agreed with the decision to have the parking meters installed, others referred to the move as “thoughtless” and “burdensome.”