We still haffi live - 'parking assistants' say new law won't stop them

May 03, 2017
A man guides a motorist into a parking spot along King Street yesterday. A means of earning for numerous men throughout the captial may be disrupted as the KSAMC has unveiled a plan to reintroduce parking meters throughout Kingston.
Jermaine Jackson expresses his views on the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation's plans to reintroduce parking meters to the island's capital, a plan which disrupts his current means of wages.

When The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) introduces a paid parking system on June 1, it will essentially be putting an end to the hustling of some men who earn from helping motorists to secure parking spots in the busy commercial district.

One of the men ushering motorists in the vicinity of the tax office on King Street, opposes the KSAMC's plan as he feels many 'parkers' will lose their source of income.

"That nuffi gwaan man cause the youths them pon the road. The homeless youth like we, them nah go have no hustling fi do and dem done have the UDC (Urban Development Corporation) car park them a monitor already and a government that a go to. So if them go put out something like that again, a suffer we ago suffer, completely suffer," he said.

Another hustler believes the authorities are unfairly targeting them.

"Them a try everything fi get rid a the small man but the small man affi live," he said. Despite the plans, he is adamant that his survival instincts will allow him to find innovative ways to make money.


New system


"A man park and tell yu say wash it off. Dem can pay yu fi wash it off. Them nah fi pay yu fi help them park. So that still can't stop we from mek money and dem wi still gi wi a $100. Me only want know say them nah run we weh," he continued.

Jermaine Jackson, who has been helping motorists park downtown since 2015, said he will just have to accept the new system.

He said he will find another way to earn money if the new system dries up his current source.

Jackson said the money he makes varies, and is based on the generosity of the owners for the vehicles he parks and sometimes washes.

"The road full a embarrassment. We park people and dem go weh and come back and see them vehicle and don't gi we a dollar. You have some days when money mek out ya and yu have some days no money no mek out ya. A next man wid a piece a old car come, him gi we all two bill ($200), a $20 or a $30, anything weh them have," he said.

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