6 Jan 2005

Elderly in key French Polynesia electorate slow to take up free bus offer

9:25 am on 6 January 2005

Elderly people in French Polynesia have been slow to take up the free bus transport which the government has introduced since the first of the month.

The Tahitipresse news agency reports only 16 of about 13,000 senior citizens have so far applied for free bus travel on the Windward Islands of Tahiti and Moorea.

The government approved the programme on the fifteenth of December, announcing that it would cover the cost of producing the photographic identification cards required for passengers.

At US$11 each, the government stands to pay about US$140,000 in total.

The move was made by the government of president Gaston Flosse, whose administration faces a by-election in Tahiti and Moorea next month for 37 seats in the territorial assembly.