Sunday gas station closures criticised

State of emergency measures mandating the closure of petrol stations on Sundays have been met with mixed reviews by taxi drivers, some of whom say the measure kept them off the road. 

In a phone interview, a representative of the 57 taxi stand in Moto’otua, Sisco Fidow, shared concerns expressed among his colleagues.

“Some of the taxi drivers would rather go home and wait for tomorrow which most of them already did,” he said.

“We don’t know where else to get the petrol from and we’re running low on our petrol today (Sunday) so it seems like everyone will be going home soon.”

According to Mr. Fidow, most drivers were not aware of the closure on Sunday.

“We should’ve been informed properly in a way where whoever is handling this, is sure that the message gets to us,” he added.

The Samoa Observer visited stations around the vicinity of Apia and found all of them were closed, alongside retail outlets and restaurants. 

Attempts to get a comment from any of the stations’ owners were unsuccessful.

But another taxi stand, DB at Vaivase, said their drivers had been prepared for the closure.

According to Pa’u Jerry Samania, who is temporarily looking after the taxi stand, the drivers used plastic bottles to store extra petrol for use on Sunday.

“I think we’ve learned from the other [Sunday] when the gas stations were also closed,” he said.

“There are a very few drivers working today since Sunday is always our slow working day so there is no impact that I know of.”

A majority of the taxi stands around Apia had very few taxis available all on Sunday. 

At the Sama taxi stand, one driver, Sam Muliau, said they were well prepared for the Sunday restriction.

“It’s all about common sense. We heard about the closure during the week so we filled up bottles as most of the taxi stands are also doing, to monitor Sunday’s system,” he said.

According to Mrs. Muliau, only five taxis have been working each day since the lockdown to comply with state of emergency orders. 

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