Traffic Jams and Fatalities Also Rise
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 06, 2010 (CUOPM)
Rising incomes, more employment opportunities and better paying jobs as a result of confidence in the economy, coupled with political and social stability, are been credited for triple digit increase in the number of registered vehicles in the twin-island Federation between 1995 and 2008.
While figures show there has been a whopping 130 percent increase in motor vehicle registration, there was an 1100 percent increase in jeep ownership.
When the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party assumed office in July 1995, there was at the end of December that year a total of 9,215 registered. By the end of December 2008, vehicle registrations stood at 21,559, an increase of 12,344.
The number of private vehicles rose from 4,087 in 1995 to 8,357 in 2008, an increase of 4,270 or 105 percent.
The number of hired cars rose from 591 in 1995 to 1,445 in 2008, an increase of 854 or 144 percent.
Buses registered a 296 percent jump, moving from 171 in 1995 to 755 in 2008, an increase of 506.
Registered Jeeps rose a whopping 1106 percent in 2008, moving from 471 in 1995 to 5,662 at the end of 2008.
There were 716 registered motorcycles at the end of 2008, a 192 percent increase compared to 245 in 1995.
Other types of vehicles including vans increased from 2,437 in 1995 to 3,733 in 2008, up 471 or 192 percent.
The number of tractors also increased from 144 in 1995 to 176 in 2008, an increase of 32 or 22 percent.
The dramatic increase in vehicular ownership is due to more ordinary people ““ the small man acquiring vehicles, the significant expansion in new housing projects, new job opportunities and businesses opening up outside of Basseterre and Charlestown which require travel to long distances.
The increase in vehicles has also led to a higher level of congestion especially during the morning, mid-day and late afternoon rush hours and reduced parking areas in Basseterre. Efforts to reduce congestion continue with the opening up of the West Basseterre By-Pass road and other roads.