A taxi association in American Samoa has launched its operations on land owned by the Samoan government in the American territory.
A ceremony to launch the Taxi Owners Association (T.O.A.) was held last weekend.
The nearly one-acre land in Tafuna was a gift from the America Samoa to the Samoan government. In return, the Samoan government gifted a piece of land for American Samoa at Vailima.
The land exchange between the two Samoas was initiated about five years ago through a memorandum of understanding for use of the lands.
American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga told a Cabinet meeting two months ago that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi had approved for the parcel to be leased to American Samoa taxi operators to use and maintain until the government decides on how best to use the land.
At the launch event during the weekend, Samoa’s Consul General in American Samoa, Auseugaefa Va’asatia Poloma Komiti, was present.
Speaking to Samoa News, T.O.A. President, Tuitama’i Emanuelu Ulberg, expressed appreciation to the governments of American Samoa and Samoa for their support of the request.
The land in Tafuna was initially used by the nonprofit Goodwill Industries, which had a building that is being renovated by T.O.A.
Tuitama’i told Samoa News that electricity and water have already been connected for the building, while telephone service is expected to be hooked up soon.