Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Monday, March 18 2019 @ 01:28 PM UTC

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 Panameñista 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 Panameñistas 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
View Printable Version

Detour on Via Israel Near Multiplaza Mall Starts Today

Cars & TransportationStarting today there will be detours in two lanes of Via Israel, in the direction heading towards the Atlapa Convention Center, reported the Ministry of Public Works, and the company FCC. The detour will begin at the two lands located in front of the former IDAAN collection house, which will be diverted to the center of the street, and which will extend as far as the entrance to the Multiplaza Mall. Meanwhile, the two opposing lanes, located on Via Israel but headed in the opposite direction towards the Multicentro Mall will also be displaced.

These detours are necessary to allow for the work currently being done in the area to continue while simultaneously allowing for the flow of traffic in both directions. These detours will be in effect for about six months, and are being done to proceed with the construction of the pilings necessary for the "Second Leg of the Via Brazil - Corredor Project" which includes parts of Via Brazil and Via Israel. This construction project is part of the plan to reorganize the flow of traffic in downtown Panama City.

The MOP said the appropriate warning signs and markings will be used to provide guidance to drivers who are passing through the area, because these detours will remain in place while the work is being done to install the new pilings. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Right now the Northern and Southern Corridors run around the outside of Panama City, but there is no really good way to quickly and easily cut through the middle of the city from North to South. They are building bridges and overpasses all along Via Brazil which will become sort of a North - South axis through the center of the city. The new bridges and intersections are being built at every major East - West roadway where they intersect with Via Brazil; Tumba Muerto, Transistmica, Via España, Calle 50, and Via Israel. Supposedly once this is done, drivers will be able to zip through downtown in one straight shot from Punta Pacifica to the Northern Corridor on the other side of Tumba Muerto, practically without stopping.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Metro Bus Will Now Cover Amador Causeway

Cars & TransportationThe Land Transit Authority said three new Metro Bus routes will start operating this morning, Monday, 8 October 2012. One of them will go out to the "Causeway," another will cover from Albrook to the City of Knowledge, and the third from Marañón to the Balboa Theater. Through a press release the ATTT said the first bus will start at the Amelia Denis de Icaza park, from there it will go to the Simón Bolívar school, later it will pass through Calle Van Hook to eventually arrive at the Amador Causeway, at Flamenco Island. They also noted that the Cooperative SACA, RL will continue operating their routes from Paraiso to Albrook, and from Gamboa to Albrook. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: The Amelia Denis de Icaza park is located in El Chorrillo. The Simón Bolívar school is in San Felipe. Calle Van Hook is the street that runs down to the Country Inn and Suites. I am not really clear on the route this bus will take from Chorrillo to the Causeway, and hopefully it will make a run through the area of Balboa first near the old YMCA building which is a much more tourist friendly neighborhood than El Chorrillo or this part of San Felipe.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Recharge Card To Pay Southern Corridor Tolls

Cars & TransportationDrivers will be able to use cash to pay the tolls on the Southern Corridor at the toll booths located near the ATLAPA convention center until the end of September. This was the decision made yesterday by the Directors of the National Highway Company (ENA) after the traffic congestion that formed on the Southern Corridor starting on Monday morning, after they changed the position of the lanes. Now, the five toll booths located on the LEFT side will be used by drivers making payments using the recharge cards, and the four on the RIGHT will be used by those paying cash. This newly implemented change caused the normal traffic jam that forms from 6:00 am until 8:00 am to extend past 9:00 am yesterday, because many drivers did not have the rechargeable card, despite the many calls made since August by the ​​ENA. Units of the Transit Police and ENA staff were stationed on the road to provide guidance to drivers.

ADJUSTMENT PERIOD - According to the manager of the ENA, Rigoberto Effio, they will continue to accept cash payment until September 30, so that drivers can adapt to the automated toll payment. According to Effio by December 2012 they expect 80% will be using the cards to pay tolls. ENA statistics show that 60,000 cars per day use this road. Of these, 60% use cards to pay the toll. On Sunday, about 15,000 drivers who use the South Corridor, bought the card. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: They are trying to force everyone to have the electronic payment card. Of course they will always have to have at least one lane for cash payments, but they idea is that everyone else will be able to zip through quickly. So, get a card.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks