That’s the number of handcarts registered with the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) for 2017.
The corporation, in an effort to regularise market commerce throughout the city, mandated in 2013 that all cart operators register and license their carriages. Some 600 operators responded and became licensed for that year, but did not return thereafter.
The lack of renewal of licences therefore means that there are currently no legal handcarts operating within the market district of downtown Kingston. There also exists another form of illegal operators who opt to sell produce from their carriages — an act the policy did not legitimise.
But despite these issues, Commercial Services Manager at the KSAMC Gary Robotham believes that the policy has not failed.
“The benefits of the policy are still there, which is the maintenance of order, security, safety, and accountability,” he stated. “So while the compliance, if you looking at it from a numbers standpoint, [is low]…because some would not have re-registered, the mere fact that there are those who have and they are still conducting themselves in a particular way, there is still some benefit being had for the municipality.”
Robotham highlighted that despite not renewing their licences, some cart operators still have the plates displayed on their carriages, which proves advantageous to customers whom he said would “have some form of recourse” when hiring plated carts.