A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa
A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa

A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

The Public Transport Network in Samoa

Hopping on a bus, ferry or even in a taxi isn’t expensive in Samoa and that’s one more reason to love these beautiful islands! The public transport network might be limited to just three modes of transport, but that’s the most anyone needs to get around the islands cheaply. Admittedly, some of the public transportation in Samoa isn’t the most efficient (we’re looking at you, buses) but going with the flow and embracing “island time” is what a trip to the islands is all about.

Check out your options for public transportation in Samoa in our guide below.

5 Tips for Using Public Transportation in Samoa

Before we get into our public transportation guide to Samoa, here are a few quick tips from the travel team at Samoa Pocket Guide.

  1. The local buses are the cheapest way to get around the island but are not the most reliable – use them if you’re on a budget and not rushed for time!
  2. The only way of getting between the islands in Samoa is via ferry or boat transport; there are no domestic flights in Samoa
  3. Taxis can be a cost-effective way of getting around one of the islands or at least Apia; inquire with your taxi driver about day hires which compete in price with car rentals
  4. If you are considering hiring a vehicle, note that you’ll need to obtain a Temporary Driver’s License – see What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa
  5. Plan your airport transfer – it may be included with some resorts, but in most cases, you will need to book a transfer – see the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa.

And to see all of your options for travelling across Samoa, be sure to check out the Samoa Transport Guide: 10 Best Ways to Get Around Samoa.

A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Buses in Samoa

Certainly one of the most famous modes of public transport in Samoa, the local buses with vibrant paint jobs, hood ornaments, LED lights and booming reggae remixes provide transport to just about every village. The islands of Upolu and Savai’i both have a network of these infamous buses, but trying to make sense of any schedule is something that only regular users seem to be able to decipher. In general, the buses start around 6 am until around 4/5 pm in the outer villages and until 6/7 pm within Apia, but it’s not unusual for the driver to call it a day by 1 pm.

On the plus side, buses are extremely cheap; you’ll never pay more than ST$12. We would highly recommend the buses for the experience if you’re not too rushed for time.

Find out more about how to take the bus, bus fares and more in our guide, Taking the Bus in Samoa: Bus Fares, Routes & More.

A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Taxis in Samoa

Another type of public transportation found in Samoa is taxis. Although nowhere near as cheap as taking bus, taxis in Samoa are reasonably priced, costing only a few tala to travel around Apia and only crossing the ST$100 mark if you need to cross the island, which may still be worth it if you have more than one passenger. That’s why you’ll find taxis in abundance with a taxi stand in every other village and why they are a favourite transport method among locals.

Taxis in Samoa work pretty much the same as the rest of the world, taking you from A to B, but they don’t run on a meter. Agree to a price before accepting a ride. You might also want to inquire about day hires and hourly rates should you want to do some sightseeing.

Find out more about how taxis work from our guide, Taxis in Samoa: Taxi Fares, How to Use & More.

A Guide to Public Transportation in Samoa© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Ferries in Samoa

For interisland travel, ferries travel between Upolu and Savai’i seven days a week. The ferry terminals can be found at Mulifanua Wharf on the west side of Upolu and at Salelologa Wharf on the east side of Savai’i.

Ferries in Samoa are very affordable, especially for a passenger with no prior booking required. You can also transport vehicles on the ferry. Understandably, this costs a little more and pre-booking is advised.

One-demand boat transport also runs regularly between Upolu and some of Samoa’s smaller islands, such as Manono and Namu’a.

Learn more about all of your ferry and boat transport options in the Samoa Ferry Guide: How to Use the Ferry for Interisland Travel in Samoa.

More About Public Transportation in Samoa

That’s it for our guide to public transportation in Samoa. For more about transport, head to the following articles:

Finally, plan the rest of your journey using The Best Samoa Travel Guide and 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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