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Panama City city bus confession

Panama City city bus confession

Old Mar 13, 16, 9:28 pm
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Panama City city bus confession

OK, I confess: I tried and I failed to figure out the Panama City city bus system at the Albrook Mall. We never did figure out what marked a bus for a particular route/destination or where you were supposed to line up for which bus route. With a little help, we did figure out how to buy and load the transit card, but had to give up on using it. I've used public transit all around the world in cultures a lot more foreign than Panama's, but we were utterly defeated. Anybody else?
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Old Mar 15, 16, 6:20 am
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The route names are flashed on the front of the bus. These links should tell you about the routes.

http://www.mibus.com.pa/rutas/
http://www.panatrans.org/#/

But I have seen many stops with several different long queues, no signage at all, and wondered how people know which line is which. Like most things in Panama, I'm sure it's asking and word of mouth and experience.
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Old Mar 15, 16, 12:33 pm
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Just speaking generally, I have seen a number of examples of Panama implementing something common in other countries, but apparently letting the people who run it be people who do not seem to know how a properly working system actually looks. in the case of the buses, some routes may emulate the old privately run bus routes as well so there is an expectation of local knowledge.

My favorite is the red-light programming, there are lights on major roads with 15-30 seconds for a major direction and 5x+ that for the other major routes in aggregate, and they tend not to get fixed (looking at you Northbound Federico Boyd at calle 50, is approx 15 seconds then minutes for the others...). There is another one on Via Israel (einstein/multiplaza eastbound) that creates traffic jams all by itself every day. They can last years and not be changed.

Last edited by Woofdog123; Mar 16, 16 at 8:16 am
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Old Mar 16, 16, 11:25 am
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Probably been 10 years now, but recall I managed to use bus to get to (IIRC) Miraflores gate of Panama Canal as well as Old Quarter. Probably different now, but I just asked - I'm sure my broken Spanish helped.
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