TJ Taxis celebrate milestone

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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15 YEARS OF SERVICE: The Manager of the TJ Taxi Stand, Mamea Tapelu Na’otala (centre) with some of the drivers.

15 YEARS OF SERVICE: The Manager of the TJ Taxi Stand, Mamea Tapelu Na’otala (centre) with some of the drivers. (Photo: Deidre Tautua – Fanene)

TJ Taxi Stand at Vaitele celebrated a milestone yesterday with the opening of their new premises as well as the commemoration of 15 years of service in Samoa.

The blessing was conducted by Pastor Nixon Matai’a of the A’ai o Siona while his wife Faaalia Matai’a did the honors of cutting the ribbon.

In an interview the Manager of the Taxi stand, Mamea Tapelu Na’otala said the project to build the new premises took three weeks.

“The project cost $15,674.46,” he said. 

“The money came from the stand itself and the owner Tala Junior Fiti who is in New Zealand at the moment as well as from the support of our customers who choose TJ to provide service for them.

“This taxi stand was first established in 2002 with just four cars. However after 15 years, it has grown and we have more than 40 cars now," said Mamea. 

In those 15 years there have been notable changes, Mamea said.

“The main challenge that we faced back then were the roads because as you know, this whole Vaitele area was very hard to access because of the state of the roads,” he said.

“What I mean is at least nowadays the roads have been  fixed. 

Back then, the conditions of the roads were poor but that didn’t stop us from providing  service to the people.

“We always try to go to each families when they need us even if the roads are bad. 

But now life is moving forward and this whole area have been improved in terms of the roads. 

“So looking back to the beginning of this taxi stand, we have overcome all the obstacles that we emcountered.
"And the business has grown and so we thank God for his guidance.” Asked also how is TJ's service different from other taxi stands 

Being able to stand out from other taxi stands comes down to the quality service they provide and the love for the people of Samoa, Mamea said.

“Sometimes our clients will be calling us for a ride but they don’t have the payment for our services. "So what we do, we still provide the service for them. 

"We give them the chance to pay it later when they can,” said Mamea.

“I think that is why this stand is growing because it doesn’t matter whether people have money or not, we still give them the service and that’s how we are different from the other taxi stands.

“Not only do we provide the service to the people but we also give them the chance because we understand the difficulties of life in Samoa, with the high cost of living. 

There are good days and there are bad days.

“Looking back we have come a long way and through the challenges, we have managed to overcome it all. 

“Today’s [yesterday] celebration is acknowledging God’s love and guidance on the TJ Taxi Stand and also to our clients who have supported us for 15 years,” said Mamea. 

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