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Metro Bus accumulates $338 million subsidy

Posted on January 30, 2017 in Panama

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PANAMA’S METRO bus system has received $338 million from the State  in the last three years to keep fares at 25 cents while poor service continues to drive passengers to pirate buses.

The subsidy , which comes from the budget of the Transport Authority (ATTT), was $93 million, in 2016,  $106 million in 2015 and  $139 million in 2014, according to data accessed by El Siglo.

This year the ATTT will pay $141 million in subsidy to Mi Bus, a company currently managed by First Transit.

President Juan Carlos Varela bought the shares of the Metrobús at a cost of $ 49.7 million through the company Metro de Panamá S.A, but user representatives at the ATTT continue to complain of long waits for buses and say they still do not see the improvements that were promised with the purchase and the public continues to pay more to use pirate buses because of lack of frequency failure.

Mi Bussays  that it is advancing the ‘Stabilization’ plan with  three necessities: frequency and coverage of service; security and trust, and improved  communication Company-Client-Employee.

This year 490 buses of different sizes will be added to to the 1,236 metro buses that are currently in service

To have the service desired by the users, 2,000 buses and 3,100 operators are required and there are currently 2,800 drivers, says  Mi Bus manager Alfonso Peñedo.


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118 new buses join Panama fleet

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STARTING on Monday, January 15,  118 new Torino buses will be incorporated into Panama’s transit system to reinforce the MiBus operation of  Routes-Tocumen, Versailles, Don Bosco, Los Caobos and Pedregal.

They are added to the 200 that normally provide corridor service in that area of the city, said a MiBuS statement.

The routes from La Doña, Llano Bonito and Pacora are already operating with the new buses which carry more passengers and provide more comfort.

The announcement comes at a time when the Transit Authority plans to intensify the operations against those

bus drivers that provide public transport service and do not have a certificate of operation.

Transport leader Tomasito López countered on Friday that “there is a reality that the units that Mi Bus has to offer the service in the capital city are  insufficient “, and that in addition” still fail to improve the frequency of buses .”

MiBus said that  “it has been able to absorb without difficulties an increase of passengers of almost 50% as a result of the reduction of the transport fare on the North and South corridors to 75 cents, since mid-November of 2017



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Bus service associated with the Panama Metro grows 9.6% in 2017

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:27

Diseño sin título (9).jpg

The MiBus company, the Panamanian public transport of bus service associated with the Metro routes of the capital, reported today that in 2017 made 3.1 million trips, 9.65% more than the previous year.

Compared to 2016, the expansion and demand  of the use of the system reached 11.5%, the company said in a public statement, which highlights that it has been "36 consecutive months of growth."

"At MiBus we are proud that every day more Panamanians trust our service as a means of mobilization. We are constantly improving the frequencies and regularity of our routes, and incorporating new routes to meet the growing demand," the company said.

According to MiBus data, the company has 1,236 buses in operation that submit more than 250 routes in the Panamanian capital and the district of San Miguelito, employs more than 4,000 people among Metro Bus operators, professional maintenance technicians, administrative personnel, operation, and control personnel on the road.

He also stressed that last year launched Panama MiBus Maps, an application that allows users to know in real time the arrival of the bus to its stop, the routes, and combinations to be mobilized by public transport in Panama City and in the district of San Miguelito.

Panama is the only Central American capital with a Metro system. Line one is operative since 2014, and line two is at an advanced stage of construction and will be totally delivered this year, in accordance with the official forecasts.



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Corridor bus plans stymied by contractors


Little activity on roadworks

Posted 18/03/2019
Plans for the $27 million restructuring of three highways for the circulation of the  Metro Bus in the North and South corridors are on hold as the project, due for delivery in September 2018  drags on.

The project, authorized by the  Ministry of Public Works (MOP) is in the hands of the consortium Accidental Association C & C Corredores Norte y Sur, made up pf integrated by Constructora Urbana, SA (CUSA) and Infrastructure Construction Company, SA, which until last December had been paid $10 million

Mi Bus already has its equipment and personnel ready, and the National Highway Company says that maintains that information panels and direction signs to let users know when the third lane is enabled are already in place.

Missing from the equation is the third lane reports La Prensa.

The project was tendered two years ago by the MOP and published in Panama Purchase, which details that the work should have been ready by March 2018; five months after the delivery of the order to proceed on October 13, 2017.

 However, the contractor company requested an addendum of 348 calendar days, that is, the work should have been ready by September 2018; but the reality is different says La Prensa, because Mi Bus is still waiting for the work to conclude and in the Corridors few workers are seen making adjustments.

Road safety issues 
The former president of the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects (SPIA), Gustavo Bernal,  says the authorization of a third lane in the corridors "does not guarantee road safety" nor will it help to improve traffic in the city, since the bottleneck will be transferred to the exits of the corridors.

He said will be necessary to take part of the shoulders and reduce the width of the lanes from 3.50 meters to 3.20 meters and the speed of vehicles from 110 kilometers per hour to 80 kilometers per hour.

A March 12 email to sent the MOP requesting information on the level of progress of the project and the payments made to the company in charge has elicited received no response.



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Enhanced Mi-Bus service follows Metro Line 2


Posted 24/04/2019

An enhanced  MIBus service  which  will  include  11 new routes will be implemented in the eastern sector of the province of Panama, on  Friday, April 26, the day   after the opening of line 2 of the Panama Metro, which will be open to the public at 6 pm on Thursday, April 25, 6:00 p.m.

On May 6 the third phase of the tyransport modernization plan will be introduced with new feeder bus service to all 16 stations on Metro line 2.



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MiBus user app makes  Latin America top 10


Posted 17/05/2019

Panama’s MiBus public transport user app has been ranked among the 10 best mobility projects in Latin America.

The qualification was made by the  International Union of Public Transport (UITP)  after the company presented the MiBus Maps Panama program which seeks to share and improve communication with the users of the service.

"For MiBus, it is a pride to receive the distinction of being among the top 10 in Latin America, as it reaffirms the company's commitment to the Panamanian society to advance and improve public transport service, not only through the mobilization of passengers, but also through reliable information, which began with the introduction of the new route codes," the company said in a statement.

MiBus said recalled that the application was implemented last October and so far has 140,000   downloads.

In addition, the digital tool has among its main objectives to give the user the option to plan and know in real time when the bus can approach a certain route.

Being among the 10 best mobility projects for users means the company is selected to advance to the final in Stockholm, Sweden, in June.

Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile will also participate.



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