President Ricardo Martinelli inaugurated the new metro system on April 5th. This is definitely one of his biggest and most eagerly awaited projects. I think it definitely lives up to most people’s expectations. It is beautifully designed, well-organized and fast. Hopefully, it will alleviate some of the traffic jams so common today in the city.
These colorful buses, known as Diablos Rojos, are a dying breed. Diablo rojos (Red Devils in English) are old school buses converted into city buses. Each one boasts its own unique, custom paint job with bright, usually red, colored murals on the outside. This culturally identifiable trademark is soon to be a thing of the past. They have been replaced with the more modern Metro Bus system. In Panama City alone, over 700,000 people use public transportation. The new buses are designed to carry about 80 passengers each – 30 sitting and 50 standing, which is about 25% more than what the Diablo Rojos can handle.
Panama’s Public Transportation is about to be revamped with a new metro system called Metro Panama. This first transit line is planned for completion in 2014 and will travel 14 kilometers through the high traffic areas of the city. There will be 13 metro stops both above and below ground. This model of the actual train is on display at the Transportation Terminal at Albrook. This new project will definitely change the way we travel here in Panama by offering a quick and hopefully an economical option to travel around the most congested areas of the city.