Bus driving in Savai’i
According to a hardworking bus driver Junior Fuimaono from the village of Salelologa, Savaii, his job is not an easy one but it’s an honest way of earning money.
Aged 21, Junior’s route requires him to go to the back villages of Savaii. He says that the only problem with driving a route like that, is that he has to show a lot of patience for the people.
He understands that since there’s not that many buses covering his area, he has to work a little harder to make sure people get home, so waiting for a full bus is always a must.
“The thing with a lot of buses in Samoa is, the only thing they think of is the money they get,” Junior told the Village Voice.
“It’s understandable because they have families to feed but the way I see it; I try my best to help people. There are only two buses running my routes so I try and make sure I get as many people as possible to their homes.
“And if they can’t afford the bus fare, then I accept whatever I can.”
Junior explained how much has changed over the years with the bus industry. He says that more and more businesses are popping up and it’s creating a lot of competition.
“Being a bus driver now is different from back in the days,” he said.
“There is a lot more competition now to get passengers. Back in the days, there weren’t that many buses running which was good for profit.
“Now everyone is coming along and starting their own bus business which just adds more and more to the competition.”
Waking up in the early hours of the morning and finishing in the evening late is not an easy task, especially when you have to drive back and forth the whole time.
“It’s not an easy job driving a bus that going to the back villages,” Junior said.
“A lot of the time, we would have to wake up very early so that we can start transporting people in time for work or school.
“We would start when the sun isn’t even up yet. It’s a very long day’s job but we earn an honest pay to help out our family. That’s all that matters to me.”
But as important as his job is for the people of Samoa, even bus drivers need a good night’s rest.
“We try not to run our buses at night because the drivers need to rest,” Junior said.
“A lot of problems occur because the driver can get tired putting him in a bad mood. Although we work long hours, we try and rest as much as possible so that we can do our job to the best of our ability.”