Auto

An air of certainty

Pay-for-air pumps in Ja

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 11, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


TO some it may have sounded like hot air, but it is now a reality. The first coin-operated air pump has been installed in Jamaica.

Two years ago, Trevor Heaven — former Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) president and principal of Heaven's Service Centre in Manchester — announced that pay-for-air pumps were the way of the future. Today, one is installed at his establishment.

"It was installed just before Christmas, in the second week of December; in fact, on December 8. It's the first one in the island," Heaven told Auto. "So far, persons have been warming up to it."

The JGRA former head said for $30 a customer gets four minutes of air.

"You can purchase a token from the attendant, place in the slot and you're good to go. It's a simple operation," he said.

Heaven declined to say how much the pump costs. But he opted to say others would be soon installed in Kingston, in Spanish Town and Portmore in St Catherine, and in Montego Bay, St James.

"Five were purchased at the National Association of Convenience Stores trade show in Las Vegas in September 2012. They'll be up and running soon," he said.

The gas retailer said the pump took four to five hours to be installed and uses the existing infrastructure. He also said adequate electronic and other spare parts were purchased to ensure there is never a disruption of service.

"We [gasolene retailers] believe these pumps selected are best to suit our conditions. They are robust, stainless steel, sturdy and tamper-proof," said Heaven, who has been in the gasolene retail business nearly three decades.

"No longer will customers be driving around in search of a working air pump," he continued.

Finding operational air pumps at service stations islandwide has been a sore point for motorists in recent times.

Speaking with Auto in 2011 as JGRA president, Heaven said due to high electricity costs and constant vandalism of air pumps some retailers found it unprofitable to provide air. He said it could cost a retailer up to $250,000 annually to keep a dispenser fully operational.

At the time, he said gasolene retailers had been in discussion, three years prior, and the decision was made to head in the direction of coin-operated air pumps.

"I know this is a sensitive issue, but it is the way of the future," he said, adding that coin-operated air dispensers are found throughout the United States and several other metropolitan areas of the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Did the NWC prepare adequately for the current drought?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT