Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More "Red Devils" Retired From Service
Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 09:01 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
This happened because the decision to begin Metro Bus operations in Las Mañanitas was made at 7:00 pm on Thursday, according to the Director of the Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT), Juan Pablo Mora. According to the official, the secrecy in confirming the date for the replacement of the "Red Devils" occurred because there was a considerable amount of records related to the payment of $25,000 as compensation to bus owners.
According to Mora, the crossing routes of Boca La Caja y Villa Rica, on which Metro Bus service also started yesterday, the records for the "Red Devil" buses have been in the ATTT February.
Saying Goodbye To The "Red Devils" - In Las Mañanitas, the Mi Bus company put 102 new Metro Buses into service providing trunk service for Via España and Tumba Muerto. The Minister of the Presidency, Demetrio Papadimitriu, and the director of the ATTT went to the area, where users complained about the lack of bus stops.
The occasion was also used to hold a meeting with the leadership of the National Transport Chamber (Canatra) during which it was agreed the process of replacing the Red Devils with the new Metro Buses cannot be stopped. As expressed by Mora, the Red Devils serving the area of Torrijos Carter will be the next to leave the system, in about three weeks.
Papadimitriu said the Public Ministry has been investigating irregularities in the payment of the $25,000 compensation to bus owners, since January. He said as a result of this investigation two people have been arrested and another 18 are under investigation.
In a huge convoy, and escorted by patrol cars of the ATTT, a total of 170 Red Devils left the bus yard at Las Mañanitas and were delivered to the patio at the former Howard Air Force Base. With sad faces, and with the hope of expediting the payment of their compensation, the drivers delivered their old buses. Santos Vega, president of the bus yard for the Tumba Muerto route, said yesterday 60 compensations were paid to bus owners from this route. He further explained in the course of the week the remainder of the checks would be paid. "I appeal to my colleagues to ask them to take their papers, in order to expedite their payments," said Vega. (Siglo)
Editor's Comment: Improving the public transportation service in Panama will be one of the capstones of the accomplishments of the administration of Ricardo Martinelli. Of course his political adversaries will bitch and complain and try to find toeholds and leverage to work against the CD, but every day thousands of people are now riding on buses that are much safer and more comfortable. It's not perfect, but it sure is better than what they had before. And, no amount of political rhetoric can change that simple fact.