By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNP) is awaitingthe Government’s response to its proposed “three loop shuttle system”, its project manager yesterday disclosing that approval would lead to the introduction of revenue-raising parking meters.
Gevon Moss confirmed that the DNP has resubmitted a proposal first raised years ago, with all parking meter revenue going to maintenance and upgrades in the downtown Nassau area.
“We have proposed a three loop shuttle or bus system that will run throughout downtown,” he explained. “People will be able to hop off at Arawak Cay if they are coming in from the west.
“If you are coming from the south you will hop off at the City Market property, and if you are coming from the east you can hop off at an area behind Commonwealth Bank. We would have shuttles just running through downtown to eliminate the normal congestion of jitneys.”
Mr Moss, following a presentation to the Rotary Club of West Nassau, added: “There are also people who park downtown all day and don’t move.
“People who work downtown would have a great incentive to park on the outskirts and drive in on a shuttle. We have designed a plan around how we can get that to happen. We are just waiting on a response from the Government.
“A lot of people, when they talk about parking downtown, automatically think that taxis have all the space downtown. The reality is that for the amount of people who visit downtown every day, the taxi spots are adequate,” he said.
“The real issue is the spots that taxis don’t park in are held up all day by an employees who comes in at 6am and leave at 5 pm. Those same spots could provide a ton of turnover with people just wanting to come in and do a little shopping,”
In an effort to help mitigate Downtown Nassau’s chronic parking problems, which have also impacted the Elizabeth on Bay plaza, the DNP has made available 50-60 spots at Union Wharf at the cost of $1 for two hours.
“One of the things we hope to do is, if this three loop system is approved, we will then go ahead and meter the spots that are now in downtown free of charge,; the ones that employees park in. We would meter those spots and hopefully use that revenue to do more improvements downtown,” said Mr Moss.
He added that the DNP was seeking the enactment of legislation which would recognise the body as the Downtown Nassau Authority.
“We had written legislation a long time ago with the help of the law firm Graham Thompson,” he said. “The legislation would really make an authority happen because the DNP was originally designed as an interim organisation that would be responsible for creating legislation.
“We have done that and we have taken on responsibilities to help with development and stakeholder relationships, but the legislation would really give us teeth. It will really create an authority that would say we are responsible for downtown.”