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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 26) – Palau government employees start availing of the US$3 roundtrip ride via the community bus service from Koror to Melekeok and Ngiwal.

[PIR editor’s note: Koror is one of Palau’s 16 states, located just south of the largest island of Babeldaob. Melekeok—site of the new capitol—and Ngiwal states are located in the central part of Babeldaob.]

The company, which is owned by the South Pacific Services of Sosorol Delegate Flavian Carlos and former Airai Governor Tmewang Rengulbai, opened its new route to the New Capitol Building on October 9 with only one passenger.

Using one of its three units, a 23-seater air-conditioned mini-bus, it has now a regular daily passenger of eight since October 10 when it leaves at 6:45 a.m. from the old Olbiil Era Kelulau—national legislative—Building in Koror and arrived at approximately 7:10 a.m. in Melekeok.

From there, the bus also takes a few minutes station to the nearby State of Ngiwal up north on Babeldaob.

Bus driver Ariel Yaranon said that after Ngiwal village, the bus also passes by at the Melekeok village before it goes back to Koror.

Yaranon said that the bus leaves Koror again at 3 p.m. and depart at 5:10 p.m. from the New Capitol.

Carlos is inviting the public to ride the bus with only US$1.50 up to Ngiwal and has signified intention to open up a new route to Ngchesar.

The company may also add one unit to Babeldaob depending on the progress of the number of passengers in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Koror-Airai route is still in operation but only on Sundays, with a fixed rate of US$2 per passenger.

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