FULL advantage was taken of the park-and-ride service, implemented as of yesterday in San Fernando, to help both shoppers and business.
From 7 a.m., people were allowed to park their vehicles at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) South Campus and travel free of charge to the city's main shopping area using Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) buses. Parking is also free.
The campus, located at the corner of Todd Street and the Rienzi Kirton Highway, can accommodate up to 225 vehicles.
The service will continue until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The PTSC drivers will travel along Lady Hailes Avenue and to High Street.
President of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett complained last week that the lack of proper parking spaces in the city was hurting Christmas sales because shoppers were gravitating to the malls where parking was available. She asked the assistance of Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan who worked with Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal to get the car park for shoppers.
Bartlett was attempting to get the car park at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Teaching Hospital at Chancery Lane available but she said "a lot of activity" was taking place there. She said Moonilal, who toured the area with her last Thursday, suggested the use of NAPA South and the business association accepted.
She said she was not sure if the increased sales yesterday were a result of the park-and-ride service because she was yet to get feedback from business owners.
San Fernando Mayor Dr Navi Muradali said yesterday, "The bus service has been very timely. I have spoken to some of the business owners on High Street and they have indicated that they are actually seeing an increase in sales so it is going very well for this Christmas season."
Bartlett encouraged motorists to exit from High Street using Short Street, a street that was recently opened to tackle traffic congestion.