“This is not a park, this is a river!”-Timehri minibus operators protest relocation

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…Slams Minibus Union, City Council

The flooded minibus park

Minibus Operators traversing the route 42, Timehri Route and who have been recently ordered by City Hall to move from their Minibus Park located at the Stabroek Square, Georgetown to now operate on High Street, Georgetown took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the decision.

The new parking space located just opposite the Ashmins Trading is being called a “river” and a “home of thieves”.

When INews visited the area, it was covered in water as a result of a heavy Tuesday downpour and the protesting operators after reportedly begging the Traffic Department, were allowed to park outside of Ashmins with strict instructions to return to the assigned parking space on Wednesday.

According to the angered operators, they reported to the Stabroek Square to ply their trade over two weeks ago and were informed by Traffic Officers that they were no longer allowed to ply there.

Subsequent to that announcement, they were escorted to the High Street location which was then identified as their new parking area.

One operator told this online news outlet that he was left dumbfounded as the said area is widely known as one which harbours thieves and one where prostitutes operate at nights.

“Imagine we mixing with the prostitutes and the thieves, school children going to lessons and coming home lil late, people working and going home in the evenings and even foreigners who use the public transportation to be taken to the airport, all of we have to be in between thieves and prostitutes, no respect they (City Hall) don’t have for we” the operator explained in disgust.

Georgetown’s Mayor, Patricia Chase-Greene and Town Clerk, Royston King were further called out, according to one operator, for “treating us like animals that they moving from one pasture to the next”.

According to the said operator, Everton Pole, who said that he has been plying his trade for some 20 years, minibus operators make a significant contribution towards transportation in Guyana.

“Let’s say that they want to relocate us from there, what is wrong with having consultations with us, what is wrong with meeting us and letting us have an input into this thing… They are treating us like animals, like me are moving from one pasture to the next…They had no discussion with us at all!” Pole explained.

The frustrated man went on to slam the United Minibus Union (UMU) which he said is just as uncaring as City Hall.

“I’m hearing about the minibus association, he (President of UMU, Eon Andrews)  never came to us and had any discussions with us as it relates to what our concerns are and what issues needs to be addressed urgently…When we talk about representation for this Timehri Park, it’s at zero. You can’t not be in touch with the local people but you going at a forum and want to make representation, oh no, it’s not going to happen” the man decried.

Christopher Johnny, a passenger, chimed in with the operators to vent his frustration calling for the Mayor to leave her post.

Efforts to make contact with the Town Clerk to provide a response proved futile.

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