I've been thinking about if I should blog this down or not; however, somehow I’m bored at a Systems and logistics lecture given by a respectable professor from Louisville... so I’m saying ...what the hell!
Panamanian public transportation sucks. I don't use it as I have a car.. however, thousands of people day in and day out had to ride buses that wasn't secure, had no insurance etc etc... in a vial network that has developed wildly with apparently no planning at all.
Martinelli's government made the change... “diablos rojos” are becoming history as I write down these words.... people are riding new and modern urban buses... however... the system still not functional by several factors.
Anyhow, the idea behind this post is to point out a simple, yet important condition I've seen (from the outside) of why the “metro bus” system is miserably failing.
Old “diablos rojos” are “school buses” which capacity is between 48 to 77 passengers depending on the bus model... however, the buses were usually modified indistinguishably and would accommodate 80 passengers (all “seated).
Metro buses are Marco Polo Gran Viale with a similar capacity, however, because “diablos rojos” charged 25 cents per ride and the new “metrobuses” charge around a buck... people is reluctant to go standing... The users are demanding seats.
This basically means that their capacity has been cropped to something around 30 passengers (manufacturer claims 25 seats)
One of the routes that has been completely taken over by the new system is the one from “Don Bosco”... which had over 200 “diablos rojos” at service... Today, there are around 110 “metrobuses” servicing this route. Assuming that the total capacity of each unit is in use... we are still short on the amount of buses... so guess what. THE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK.
Some has reported that they could stay waiting for a “metrobus” as long as 45 minutes... and when it comes in... it is already full (no seats available).
I have no idea of how the system was designed and the specifics of why it is not working... however, just by observing the amount of people going on the buses each day I ride from home to work and viceversa I could easily say that the amount of units should be doubled to match the service that old diablos rojos provided.
and yes... I'm glad I own a car!