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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 01:11 PM EDT

Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More "Red Devils" Retired From Service

Cars & TransportationThe residents of Las Maņanitas were happily surprised when they came out to try to find a "Red Devil" to get to work, but instead they found out the new Metro Bus system had started operations there. The government failed to announce the replacement of the "Red Devils" and as a result users were caught off guard, because they had not yet purchased the electronic swipe cards needed to pay the 25 cent bus fare.

This happened because the decision to begin Metro Bus operations in Las Maņanitas 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 Maņanitas, the Mi Bus company put 102 new Metro Buses into service providing trunk service for Via Espaņa 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 Maņanitas 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.

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Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More "Red Devils" Retired From Service | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More \"Red Devils\" Retired From Service
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 08:22 PM EDT

Finally a much needed upgrade to public transportation. . . though still a frightening prospect to encounter how some of these drivers handle their larger steeds.

Blanquillos y Blanquillos!

Vaya con Dios passajeros de Diablo Rojos!

Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More \"Red Devils\" Retired From Service
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 03 2012 @ 12:53 AM EDT

Great news, 170 red devils off the street!
The day I dont have to see the snarling ,ugly,foul
mouth of a red devil wheel well in my view will be a day
of religeous imfamy.
After their gone,then the next problem.

Metro Bus Now Operating On Three New Routes - 170 More \"Red Devils\" Retired From Service
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 03 2012 @ 07:42 AM EDT

There are 2 points I would like to make on this change.
1- It is a shame they did not find a way to keep some rojo diablos perhaps in a tourist function. They are such a visible part of the culture.

2- The bigger shame is that the government opted to purchase modern buses that have neither lifts nor ramps. Looks like the efforts of the previous administration to begin addressing the needs of disability and elderly communities have been forgotten.

l was told by someone working with the government the plan was to build concrete platforms at all bus stops to allow wheelchair users, mothers with strollers or others who cannot step up into the buses to easily enter. Doesn't this sound more expensive? More difficult? Take longer to implement?