Travellers' 'very last minute' dash irks shipping boss

The tendency by people to travel at the “very last minute” has not gone down well with the head of the Samoa Shipping Corporation.

The S.S.C. Chief Executive Officer, Leiataua Samuel Phineas, told the Samoa Observer that while they were able to manage the large increase in passenger numbers for Savai’i in recent days, it is a concern that people didn't plan to leave early for the big island in order to go and vote.

“A total of more than 3,000 passengers have already left from the 6am boat till 1pm and all of our vessels are in the run as of now and for that we do expect more people throughout the night (till late night)’’ he said on Thursday.

“According to our schedule, we have our normal routine for the big vessels, as for the small vessels is in charge as well but not on schedule.

“It went non-stoppable in hoping till the last ferry tonight the Mulifanua Wharf would be back to normal.”

Leiataua says one of the biggest challenges during such times is when people decide to leave at the last minute and end up overcrowding the inter-island ferry service.

“This is one major problem to our people is leaving everything in the very last minute and it causes the overcrowd, also the squeezing in by the people for that we can’t tolerate any complains, but we are working together with the Police for peace and safety of our people,” added the C.E.O.

“Since it’s the public holiday for the general election we have the whole week for people to travel within but they want to put everything behind and for that all we ask from them is to have patience at all.”

A number of passengers, who were in the long queues that was formed next to one of the ferries, complained about standing for hours without moving as well as its impact on the elderly.

“We have been standing for more than hours and yet we haven’t reach the boat yet, I know it’s being hard standing in line, but what I see from here is that some other people show much inappropriate attitude and manners,” said one of the passengers.

“I do feel for elderly people and the little ones (children), some people were sitting down on the floor, and even they put their baby sleeping on a dirty floor, as for our elderly people what I can see from here is they get tired of standing up too long.

“Patience does exist nowadays especially in situations like this, but that won’t happen if our people do not cooperate with S.S.C Officers with their job.”

The Parliament two years amended electoral laws which made it compulsory for voters to return to the constituencies where they are registered to vote to cast their votes.

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