One of President Martinelli´s cabinet members, the Minister of the Presidency, Mr. Jimmy Papadimitriu announced a new public transport system to be put in place. Using the presidential slogan “It is the people´s turn” he says that it is the people´s turn to have safe, comfortable and reliable public transport. This new initiative is called METROBUS
METROBUS shall have modern, air conditioned buses which shall benefit 600 thousand users. This public transport concession as all government concession will be open for bidding and the documents with details for the bidding process will be available on November 26th. On February 26th the proponents bids will be received and by March 29th the winning bid will be selected. The winning bidder will have one year from the date in which the concession is assigned to replace all of the current bus fleet. The area to be covered by this public transport concession is Panama and San Miguelito all the way to Pacora under one single operator.
Currently as anyone who has visited Panama can see public transport is riddled by old, second hand buses imported in many cases from the US when the school systems renew their bus fleets. Once in Panama they are painted mostly in red with lots of colorful designs on them and are called “Red Devils”. These buses are privately owned by multiple operators and driven by basically whomever they can find to drive, these drivers rent the bus for the day and pay the owner a base rate and anything above that is their take home income. This may help explain why you will often times see these buses racing each other to reach the bus stop first, each passenger increases their take home income.
For the complete article: PanamaQmagazine