Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Monday, April 21 2014 @ 05:38 AM EDT

View Printable Version

Joint ATTT and Municipality Operation Against Expired License Plates

Cars & TransportationThe Municipality of Panama in conjunction with the Transit Authority started an operation on Monday night to catch those with expired license plates, which will continue during the entire month of December in the Capital district.

According to Guillermo Dominguez, of the Municipality of Panama, the municipality verifies if the plate is registered, and then after this the ATTT intervenes by applying the appropriate sanction to the driver, for driving with an expired tag.

The Municipality of Panama has reported that about 12,810 taxpayers took advantage of a moratorium plan that was implemented since last November. The Mayor has indicated that about 35,000 taxpayers are still behind, and have not picked up their new license plates.

On Tuesday morning in the sector of Felipillo about 19 people were caught with expired tags. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Heads Up! New One Way Streets in El Cangrejo

Cars & TransportationTwo streets in the El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City are being changed from two way streets to one-way streets.

Panama's Transit Authority announced the change, which will affect Calle 49 A Oeste and Calle 49 B Oeste.

The change will take effect at 6:00 am on Wednesday, 12 December 2012.

In more detail, the ATTT reported that Calle 49 A Oeste will change to one-way, from the La Salle school on Calle San Juan Bautista towards Ave. Argentina.

While Calle 49 B Oeste will be one-way, from Ave. Argentina towards Calle San Juan Bautista. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: In the diagram, "Einstein's Head" is located at the triangle. If you go up that hill towards the La Salle school and Transistmica, these are the two roads on your left.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Speed Trap Cameras Going Active Again

Cars & Transportation The company Traffic Safety, S.A. will not be getting 65% of the money generated from the speeding tickets imposed through their cameras.

According to the Transit Authority the company will receive 35% of the money generated using their system.

The parties agreed to this change, after Traffic Safety won a tender in which there was no competition.

The contract was signed on behalf of Traffic Safety by Ricardo Chanis Correa, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Caja de Ahorros state owned bank and the President of the Grupo Editorial Epasa (Panama America newspaper). (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: There was a burst of news when these cameras first went active in the area of Costa del Este. All of a sudden people were being handed speeding tickets for going 1 mile an hour over the limit. So this contract came to light, and it was learned that the company was going to be getting 65% of the fines generated. That has since been modified, but it's still "good business" at 35%. La Prensa points out the apparent conflict of interest with Ricardo Chanis Correa as well, and their news nemesis the Epasa Group.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Gas Prices Will Increase on Saturday

Cars & TransportationBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Gas prices will be going up on Saturday. Every two weeks the government of Panama establishes the maximum prices for fuel, and after a few straight declines, this time the prices are going back up a little. 91 octane gas will go up by 4 cents to $3.71 per gallon. 95 octane gas will go up by 2 cents to $3.90 per gallon. Diesel will increase by 6 cents to $3.83 per gallon. These prices will take effect on Saturday, and will remain until 14 December 2012.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Anyone Who Doesn't Have A Card To Pay Northern And Southern Corridors Will Be Fined $20

Cars & Transportation"Anyone who does not recharge their card and who gets in the wrong lane will be ticketed for disregarding signs, which carries a fine of $20," said Ventura Vega, the Director of the Transit Authority on Tuesday, 20 November. Vega said that as of 10 December 2012, anyone who goes onto the Northern or Southern Corridor who does not have a card to pay the toll will be ticketed and fined. In order to enforce this order, there will be ATTT officers assigned to the toll booths who will be handing out tickets.

The ATTT Director said on the channel 2 TVN morning news program that this measure is being taken so that drivers can be made aware, not to pressure them. Vega's statements came during an event to mark the start of the trunk route of the Metro Bus system.

Starting next Monday, December 10, the Southern Corridor will operate with the electronic cards only, as reported by the Transit Authority (ATTT), on Monday, 19 November, in order to relieve the traffic jams that form at the toll booths. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: See? I just saved you $20 bucks! Now, where might you decide to spend it... Hmmmm....

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Price of Gas Dropping On Saturday

Cars & TransportationBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The National Secretariat of Energy said via a press release this afternoon that the price of a gallon of 95 octane gasoline will drop on Saturday, 17 November 2012, by 11 cents per gallon, to $3.88. Meanwhile, 91 octane gas will drop by 4 cents per gallon, to $3.67. Diesel fuel will drop by eight cents per gallon, to $3.77. These new prices will remain valid for two weeks, until Friday, 30 November 2012.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Government Denies Allegations Of A Subsidy Payment Debt To Mi Bus

Cars & TransportationAlmost two years since the start of the transition from the so-called "Red Devils" to a new public transportation system that is "comfortable, safe and reliable" according to the slogan of the Metro Bus, there are still complaints from users, and doubts about the government's relationship with the company Mi Bus, that is responsible for providing the service. As time passes instead of disappearing, new complaints and reports of irregularities are added to these already existing aspects.

The latest came yesterday when National Assembly Deputy Jose Isabel Blandon from the Panameņista political party reported on the channel 2 TVN news program that the current administration "has a debt of $30 million in subsidies," and he warned that the company could suspend the service at any time, due to a lack of payments.

This information was denied by the director of the Transit Authority, Ventura Vega, who said that during his administration (since July 2012) "we have kept up with all the payments," and he says the relationship between the government and the company is in perfect condition.

Other versions saying the government had recently delivered an extraordinary payment for arrears were also denied, after the former director of the ATTT, Juan Pablo Mora, said that during his administration (January - July) accounts were also settled on time.

Despite attempts to contact company representatives from Mi Bus, we failed to obtain their version.

The Goals Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic, Lilian Thompson, told La Estrella that so far the government of Panama has paid $35 million dollars to the company in subsidies, and there is another pending payment due this month of $4.5 million dollars.

For the months of November and December 2012 the government has budgeted $10.5 million, an amount that could vary depending on the number of people using the service. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Translation - Blandon is full of shit, and he was just making up false allegations for political purposes. What they are talking about here are the "subsidies" being paid by the government of Panama to the company Mi Bus, in order to keep bus fares artificially low. The people who ride the new Metro Bus service are some of the poorest in Panama, so the government is quite simply paying a part of the bus fare for them with these subsidies - to the tune of about $5 million dollars per month. Blandon is trying to play a sort of "chicken little" card, by saying that the government is supposedly out of money, they have not paid the subsidies, and the buses could stop running at any moment. The Panameņistas are desperate to maintain some sort of relevance, and now they are just flat out making stuff up.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Long Lines At Albrook Bus Terminal As Exodus Continues

Cars & TransportationThe exodus to the provinces because of national holidays intensified on Friday to the point that hundreds of passengers crammed into the Albrook bus terminal, for a second day, carrying bags of all sizes. Couples and complete families form long lines to buy tickets into the interior, and one of the most demanded destinations is David in the Chiriqui province. Many people begin to show fatigue and boredom, with the long wait to board a bus. (TVN)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama City Mayor Will Build Parking Facilities Under City Parks

Cars & TransportationThe new underground parking facilities to be built in the capital district should be operating by the end of 2013. This was announced this Friday, November 2nd, by the Mayor of Panama, Roxana Mendez. The mayor said delays always occur in the purchasing process, however, she hopes that with this project, everything goes according to schedule.

She said the new facility would improve the amount of parking available in Panama City. She said this is a modern solution that has been implemented in other countries. "We are looking for an alliance with the private sector," Mendez said to local media.

The Mayor of Panama said they are considering to build the underground parking facilities at the Parque Porras, in the Francisco Arias Paredes parrk, and in areas near or next to the Parque Urracá and the Parque Harry Strunz. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panamanians Have Spent $23 Million on Metro Bus Fares in Eight Months

Cars & TransportationUsers of the new Metrobus public transport system have spent more than $23.6 million since the use of the new rechargeable electronic swipe cards became mandatory eight months ago. The company Sonda S.A., the financial administrator of the Metrobus payment system, reported yesterday that system users have made 100 million trips in the eight months since they began collecting bus fares through the use of the new card. The ticket cost is 25 cents for trunk routes and $1.25 on the Northern and Southern Corridors, while school students pay a dime. The company specified that users have saved $1.4 million by making 5.6 million transfers (at no cost), which is an advantage because bus users can get off of the bus for a specified period of time and then get back on later at no cost, if going in the same direction. Bus users also are taking advantage of another benefit called the "emergency ticket", which has been used by 1,174,000 users. This allows them to travel by bus even without sufficient balance on their cards, which is then deducted from their accounts later when they make the next recharge on the card.

Opinions - Daniel Guerra, the general manager of the company Sonda, said Panamanians have adapted well to the new payment method, and he highlighted the effectiveness of the system.

However, David Ramirez, president of the 23 October Movement, said he would like to know more about the income being generated by the payments being made by passengers for bus fare, because one of the factors for which the public transportation system was modernized was so that the Panamanian people could know the actual benefits of this business. He also warned that there are still users who are not accustomed to the payment system using the electronic swipe card, and he recommended they should make a monthly budget of the money they spend on public transportation, and in that way they could enter the appropriate amounts, and thus will not have to make frequent recharges, which saturates the system and causes it to fail, bringing discomfort to other users. Ramirez stressed the need to expand the methodology of charging, such as the mobile network access to streamline the system.

Meanwhile, Guerra said "we continue to work to provide facilities to the users, which is why in the last two months we have replaced about 250 outlets to sell and recharge cards. This represents 25% of our charging points, all to provide greater coverage to transport our users." In recent weeks Sonda has opened 12 windows in areas where there is a high concentration of bus users. They have also launched a balance verification system using SMS text messages. Users can find out how much money is left on their cards by sending a text message with the card number to 3939. By the end of the year the company plans to introduce new electronic recharge systems, as a spearhead in the region. Currently there are one million active cards, at a cost of $ 2 each. If the user has a problem when trying to use the card, Sonda will replace it if the problem is being caused by deterioration due to use. However if the user loses their card, they must buy a new one. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks