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Tuesday, October 21 2014 @ 05:29 PM EDT

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Extension of Northern Corridor Almost Ready to Open

Cars & TransportationBy Jessica Tasón for La Critica - In order to open the new section of the Northern Corridor that runs from Tinajitas to El Golf, the Ministry of Public Works and the Comptroller of the Republic have to issue an "act" detailing the total amount invested to build the new section of road, as well as a reasonable amount of profit for the company that built it, as well as an authorization to initiate operations tomorrow, 21 April 2009 and to begin charing the corresponding tolls starting on 4 May 2009. This requirement was established in a letter directed to the Minister of Public Works Benjamín Colamarco signed by Georgina Iñigo Maruri, the legal representative of Pycsa Panamá S.A., which says they must have this document in their hands in order to begin continuous operations of the highway starting at 11:30 am on 21 April 2009, as has been requested by the ministry. The letter says the act must contain the total amount invested to build the road, $56,521,154.41 - the amount referred on the date of the celebration of the contract arrived by multiplying the 225,579.32 square meters of pavement by $250.56 - the cost per square meter of pavement constructed. Iñigo added in the letter the act should also contain a reasonable profit corresponding to the construction of the highway for $10,682.498.18 - the amount agreed upon on the date the contract was signed. (See Comments)
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Supreme Court Orders Suspension of "Red Devil" Purchases

Cars & Transportation By SHELMAR VÁSQUEZ SWEEN for La Prensa - The “Red Devils” will not be off of Panama's streets anytime soon. This decision was reached yesterday in a meeting between the Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) and bus owners, after the Panamanian Supreme Court of Justice suspended the purchase of buses by the State. The decision in the demand filed by victims of public transportation caused the ATTT to decide to nullify proceedings for the purchase of almost 300 buses that already were in the name of the State, but it does not include the 30 buses for which the government has already paid $750,000 dollars. In the meeting they also agreed to revoke the executive decree prohibiting, since 2008, the importation of second hand used school buses as well as parts to repair those buses. The 24 hour strike held yesterday by bus owners and drivers to demand the indemnifications owed to them caused transportation users to close some streets, and in other cases they attacked the bus drivers.
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Gas Prices Going Up on Saturday, 11 April 2009

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Prices for fuel in Panama will be going up sharply starting on Saturday, 11 April 2009. While the exact and precise numbers have not yet been released, it is expected that standard 91 octane gasoline will go up .09 cents per gallon, and 95 octane will rise .14 cents per gallon. Additionally, diesel will rise .14 cents per gallon as well. Wolfram González, the National Director of Hydrocarbons for the Secretary of Energy said the official prices will be released tomorrow, but what's sure is that "all derivatives will go up by about .10 cents per gallon."

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Two Colon Free Trade Zone Businessmen Killed in Car Crash

Cars & Transportation By Luis Carlos Rodríguez for La Critica - Two businessmen from the Colon Free Trade Zone of Lebanese origin died yesterday in a spectacular traffic accident on the Northern Corridor, near the Mocambo bridge. Apparently, Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Abdel Fatah, 21 years-old, the driver of a car with license plate number 700605, lost control and ended up slamming into a tree. The impact was so sever the vehicle was literally torn in half. Nayid Ahmed Al Rahimi died at the scene of the accident. His cousin, Abdul, died later at the hospital. Another occupant in the vehicle, 20 year-old Ali Salah Waked, was injured. The two victims were the owners of the company Tokio Zona Libre and were nephews of the Consul of Lebanon in Colon, Faozi Hachem.
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Here's A New One - The "Mall Rate" Taxi Scam

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This afternoon I hopped into a taxi in front of the MultiCentro Mall, headed for the Veneto hotel. Once there I asked "how much?" The driver told me "$5.00 bucks" and I told him he was smoking crack. He said "that's the special mall rate for tourists." I explained to this knucklehead my job involves the translation of Panamanian traffic laws, and that since I know the ATTT law regarding taxi service inside and out, maybe he might like to take another swing and how much I owe him? He kept trying to bullshit me, so I went into the local "chino," got change for a $5, paid him the $1.25 that I owed him, and took off. Then I called the ATTT to report his plate (8T-14435). (more)

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Torrijos Says Politics Is Behind Transmóvil Lawsuit

Cars & Transportation By URANIA CECILIA MOLINA for La Prensa - In Panama's Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) the Transmóvil project continues ahead. Jose Hernandez, a spokesman for the organization, said yesterday they have not yet been officially notified about the decision by Panama's Supreme Court that will temporarily paralyze the project. He said they need to study the decision of the court in depth to take measure of its implications. Panama's President Martin Torrijos said politics are behind the demand against the decree that created an "emergency" condition to allow for the acceleration of the public bid for the purchase of the first 420 buses. So far the ATTT, as part of the project, has purchased 30 "Red Devil" buses as a means of indemnification to their owners.
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Panama's Supreme Court Slaps Down the "Trans-Yuca" Program

Cars & Transportation By José Edwin Sánchez M. for La Critica - The representatives of Groupo Q were surprised by the decision taken by Panama's Supreme Court from Justice, when the ordered to provisionally suspend the resolution issued by the Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT), which had decreed the purchase of 420 buses through a flawed public bidding process to start the program to modernize the public transportation system (Transmóvil) an "emergency." Santiago Gómez, the Executive Director of Grupo Q that won the bid for the purchase of the buses said this decision harms their company because they have already made some investments based on the decision made by the evaluation committee that scrutinized their bid valued at $79.9 million dollars. Without providing specific numbers, Gómez said they had already started to execute their plan for the construction of the first 25 buses that will be assembled in Brazil and that would have been arriving in Panama in May. "This decision challenges the credibility of the entire public bidding process, because an investment was made to comply with the requirements specified by the government, and now we are left hanging with this decision," he said. ATTT Director Heráclio Batista said they will accept the decision of the Supreme Court once they are officially notified but emphasized that the modernization program has other phases that will not pause. He clarified that in the case of the thirty "Red Devil" buses already acquired by the state will be administered by their management, and he reiterated they have not improvised anything with regards to the transportation modernization program. (See Comments)
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Tolls Eliminated on the Arraijan - La Chorrera Highway

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Finally! Last week Panamanian president Martin Torrijos announced the elimination of the .50 cent toll on the "autopista" between Arraijan and La Chorrera. At first it was to be for six months, and then they announced that the move would be permanent - no more toll. The law allows for the toll to be eliminated once the road was paid for, and in fact this should have been done years ago but successive governments have been sucking off the money so they never did it. There have been several scandals and investigations of different employees who were skimming the money collected at the toll booths. Anyway, now no more tolls to drive into the interior. Excellent. I just wonder when the government of Panama is going to take back the Northern and Southern corridors, nationalize them, and open them up for everyone to use. Maybe by 2050 or so...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Expect 420 New Mercedes Benz Buses for Transmóvil Project In 90 Days

Cars & Transportation By Saúl Quintero Quirós for El Siglo - Each bus will cost $181,000 dollars. As soon as the Panamanian Ground Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) make the results of the government bid process for the Transmóvil project official, the manufacturer will begin to produce the first units what will be delivered to Panama within 90 days. The buses, that will be guaranteed for two years and will come at a cost of $181,000 per unit, will have a fire extinguishing system in the motor compartment and eight emergency exits. Joannis Peñaloza, the manager of sales for Mercedes Benz, said the buses have not yet been built, but once the order is placed they will be manufactured in their factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo in Sao Paulo, Brasil. The fabrication of these buses will take three months, and once they are in Panama they will be put into circulation, however before that happens they will deliver a model bus that will allow the public to check it out, said Peñaloza. Another feature on these buses will be a speed governing system that will prevent the buses from going more than 60 kilometers per hour. The buses will be designed according to the specifications asked for by the ATTT, and the body of the buses will be made from fire retardant materials. In spite of everything, the representative of bus users on the Board of Directors of the ATTT still claims to not know the details of the new design. (See Comments)
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Fuel Prices Dropping on Saturday, 28 Feb 2009

Cars & Transportation La Critica - According to the limits published by the Panamanian Authority for Consumer Protection and the Defense of Competition (ACODECO), as of Saturday 28 February 2009, the highest allowable prices for fuel will be dropping. These prices will remain in effect until 13 March. In the provinces of Panama and Colon the price limits have been established at $2.13 per gallon for 91 octane, $2.31 for 95 octane, $1.84 for regular diesel, and $1.87 for improved diesel. In Arraiján and La Chorrera the prices are set at $2.14 for 91 octane, $2.32 for 95 octane, $1.85 for regular diesel, and $1.88 for improved diesel.
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