Government Still Needs To Pay $32 Million To Removed 550 "Red Devils" From Public Transportation System
Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 02:05 pm EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
It's going to cost the government about $32 million, which will be paid to the owners of these buses as compensation for taking them off the road. The first $20 million in additional credit was granted through the Land Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) on 24 July 2012, that includes the fuel subsidy outlays for the Mano de Piedra, Torrijos - Carter and 24 de Diciembre bus routes.
Johnny Mosquera, President of the Torrijos - Carter route where about 240 of the old buses are still circulating, does not believe that compensation be completed before the end of this month, as suggested by the directors of the ATTT. "The owners are taking their documents, but the compensation might be achieved in October, provided the agreement is fulfilled, to continue the process without waiting for the certification from the SICOTRAC representative Sicotrac," said Mosquera.
Mosquera's forecast comes amid the request made by Manuel Argüelles, that the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development return his certification as the General Secretary of the Transport Drivers' Union (Sicotrac).
On the routes that do not yet have a date when they will be taken out of the system, nor the funds to pay compensation to the bus owners, are those in Concepción, Veranillo, Chilibre, Panamá Viejo, Alcalde Díaz, San Pedro and Saca. It is estimated that the investment for these routs is $12 million, as announced by the ATTT Secretary General, Nicholas Brea. "There are 550 (old) buses will still circulating in the city and we hope to get them out before the end of the year," he said. Brea said to complete the process, the resources (money) will come from special requests for credit, and the general budget of the entity.
The Minister of the Presidency, Roberto Henriquez, estimated that by the end of 2013 the entire fleet will be complete, and they intend to maintain the current fare of 25 cents. (Panama America)