It’s not for the faint of heart - Bike taxis to the rescue in Gordon Town
Due to a collapsed roadway in Gordon Town, St Andrew, bike taxis are now in demand, as residents are challenged by what seems to be only a metre of road remaining.
For the most part, they have adapted to the situation. But as I went across on the back of a bike, nerves skyrocketed at the thought of falling over. A little too far to the right and 'it done fi we', I thought.
But for a man like Cean Segred, who has been using the road multiple times daily for almost a week, it's as easy as a Sunday morning.
"The people dem a come wid dem goods. Is about 10 trip me make already and me nuh plan fi stop no time soon. As long as people out here, di work deh-deh. We carry dem cross and let dem off, and dem take something else and go to next point again," the 29-year-old told THE WEEKEND STAR.
And I realised that with no hesitation, he was ready for another trip. I wondered how, because standing back and looking at the pieces of the road that collapsed because of the rains from Tropical Storm Eta, I felt as though I was bound to fall over. After seeing pictures online, actually being on the scene is a totally different experience.
"Fi charge the people dem now, it depends pon how far we a go. You have people a go Gordon Town, Mavis Bank and dem place deh. If we a carry them with load, we charge all a $350," Segred said.
Desmond Johnson, 50, a Mavis Bank resident, stood waiting in the sun for a biker to return and take his goods across.
"I do delivery work, so I buy goods in Papine and deliver to the people in my community and shopkeepers. I have a lot of goods to go across, so the bike men have to make several trips. But me will just work wid them and give them a flat rate ... so I will give them a $3000 fi bring cross everything for me," Johnson said. "Before this, I could just take my goods and walk go cross or I drive because I have a Hiace bus. It rough. But at the same time, the youth dem have to eat so we a fi do weh we a fi do. We caa kill dem."
Marva Robinson revealed that she has spent approximately $2,000 for one day's travel.
"This morning, coming down from Davis Hill, I paid $500 on a bike to get to Bryan Ridge. Then to get to Mavis Bank, I took another bus for $200. I take another one to Papine for $100 and coming back, it's the same. All of this jus to get some likkle goods fi me shop," Robinson said. That's about $4,000 a week, as she travels about two times a week.
"It's very hard because right now, the money nuh deh. We a struggle. We need some help. We have to pay for our goods because they charge for the goods different," she said.