The public transportation available in Panama are the Metro and (Metro)Bus. From the second quarter of 2014 Panama has a fabulous 18 kilometer Metro (click to see a video). The air-conditioned Metro Buses were first introduced in early 2012 as a replacement for the “Diablo Rojos”.
What you need to know before taking the bus
You have to plan ahead before taking the bus. You need to buy a Metro Bus card which is being sold at various kiosks in malls and plazas, pharmacies and supermarkets. Your best chance to find them will be at the “Centros de Atencion”, click here to see where those are located. At the moment you buy the metro bus card, you can charge it right away to start traveling by bus. Take in mind that without this card you will not be able to take the bus. The metro bus drivers will not accept any other payment method but the metro bus card.
The bus routes
If you would like to get insights in the bus routes, then you may refer to this website which is part of the Metro Bus cooperation. It would be good on the first hand to ask your travel agent or hotel facility which line to take to reach your destination. On the main streets of Panama you will find orange signs that say “Metro Bus” which are the bus stops. At the moment you want to enter the bus, make sure that you raise your hand so the bus driver stops for you at the bus stop.
The costs of a bus ride
A single bus ride in Panama-City will cost you in most cases $0.25, regardless of the distance you travel. The only buses that will charge you more are the ones that say in front “Corredor Norte” or “Corredor Sur”, which are the lines that take a toll road. Tip: Almost all the Metrobusses stop at Albrook. So if you want to visit Albrook Mall you may take any bus line. It is recommended to always ask the bus driver or another passenger if the bus is going to your desired destination. While most of the persons do not speak English very well, they are very friendly and willing to understand and help you where possible. If you prefer to take a taxi in stead, read this article to know what to expect.
Did you know that?
The Metro Buses were first introduced in early 2012 as a replacement for the “Diablo Rojos” (which stands for “the red devils”). Those decorated buses with often latin music were privately owned and used to transport hundred thousands of people every day.