What a disruption it was yesterday in places like Suva and Lautoka when the bus drivers refused to carry passengers. Ohay, the price of fuel is escalating and it is hrd to make any money, but children could not go to school, workers to their places of employment, sick people going to the hospital. Although the strike was called by by mid-morning it was too late to re-open the schools.
Meanwhile in Macuata, the taxis, private cars, small trucks were used to help out those in need of transport. In today's Fiji Times, the writer put a good spin on the good-heartedness of the Friendly North.
Friendly Northerners pick up slack
Friday, July 04, 2008
YESTERDAY'S bus strike brought smiles to other public transport operators who took up the slack in the rural areas of the Northern Division. Carrier, taxi and private vehicle owners helped with public transportation going as far as Seaqaqa.
Vanua Levu Carriers Association president Samuel Jeet said the drivers left their base at about 5am and started picking up passengers in Labasa, Savusavu, Bua and Taveuni. Mr Jeet said after hearing the bus strike notice on Wednesday night, the carrier drivers decided to help out. "The drivers serviced most of the bus routes in the north transporting students and people to work," Mr Jeet said. "After they dropped off passengers they returned and transported other passengers waiting by the roadside. "So it was very good business for us, something that we rarely experience."
Mr Jeet said the drivers even informed each other of the routes that needed their services.
Two private car drivers went as far as Seaqaqa and Tabia, outside Labasa Town, to pick passengers.
Mohammed Saleem, who owns a private van, said the strike was not felt in Seaqaqa because many carriers, cane trucks and private cars offered their services. "I drove to Seaqaqa to pick up people in the morning and not many were standing by the roadside because empty vehicles driving towards Labasa picked them. I guess it's all about the friendly north attitude which helped ease the burden."
Commuters travelling from outside Labasa Town said they waited for at least half an hour before being picked up.
The strike was over by midday and services returned to normal.