12 Jun 2008

Taxi and bus driver in American Samoa disappointed at low increase in fares

1:57 pm on 12 June 2008

Some drivers in American Samoa say the rise allowed in their bus and taxi fares isn't as much as they'd hoped for.

The Commerce Commission that regulates commercial transport in the territory says taxi and bus fares will increase by 50 cents across the board from July 1.

But our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says while fuel costs are soaring, taxi fares haven't increased in 16 years and bus fares only slightly in that time.

"The feedback from the taxi and bus owners that I've talked to. They are quite disappointed that it wasn't as much as they'd hoped for. They had asked the Commerce Commission to increase fares by $1. And they say the gas prices its now like $4.50 for a gallon of diesel fuel. Then they also point out to the maintenance costs going up, road conditions are so bad and the cost of living has generally gone up."

Monica Miller.

The Commerce Commission is also banning smoking in taxis and buses when the new fares take effect and making four wheel drive vehicles that operate as buses illegal.