Translated from FaaSamoa by Tusiga Taofiga, Government Press Secretariat.
The district of Falealupo in the estearn most part of Savaii has procured a school bus under the Million Tala Project, where each of Samoa’s 51 electoral constituencies are set to receive $1 million tala each year.
The brand new 2023 Toyota Coaster Bus 4.2L valued at $155,000 tala was purchased from Asco Motors in Apia.
Falealupo Member of Parliament, Hon Fuiono Tenina Crichton said this has been a long time dream of the village and district, to have a bus for the transportation of school children who often have to walk long distances to school each day.
The bus will operate two rounds in the morning, and then again after school from set pick up points. “This will be a relief for parents, who are always worried about children walking along the roads to get the school and back.”
A minimum fare of $1 tala will go towards petrol and put aside for vehicle maintenance. “That way,” said Fuiono, “Falealupo will be able to pay for any vehicle maintenance needs.”
The bus can also cater for other transport needs of the community from time to time, said the Member of Parliament.
Fuiono thanked the Government for the Million Tala initiative, Poloketi Miliona, which he believes will allow rural communities to spend funds on their specific needs and areas that can improve the livelihoods of its village members.