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Panama City Metro…There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Panama City Metro Train

Panama City is a HUGE metropolitan area with a population of 1.4 million. To travel around the city efficiently you need to either take the bus, the metro train, or a taxi. Since we love adventure and the public transportation system in Panama is fast and easy to use we decided to try out the Panama City Metro.

Facts About the Subway

• The three-car train sets that run along Line 1 can accommodate up to 600 passengers per train, but the station platforms are built to accommodate six-car train sets, allowing for future growth.

• Line 1, which is the only one open at this time,it runs 8.5 miles and serves 12 stations. A second Metro line is in the works for the coming years, eventually linking Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport by rail to the city. We think this would be very beneficial, even with lots of people taking buses and the train the traffic is pretty heavy as you would expect in any big city.

• Trains during the daytime run approximately every two to four minutes the Panama Metro shuts down at 10pm.

Panama City Metro
It’s easy to spot the green Metro Stations in the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Panama City Metro
The fast, clean metro
Panama City Metro
Albrook Transit Station connects the city with the rest of the country
Panama City Metro
Enter and exit the station through the turnstiles.

• The Panama City Metro is very useful for travelers, whether on vacation in Panama or on a business trip, since it’s possible to take the train from the big hotels to the huge Albrook Mall as well as the main bus terminal, which sits next to to the mall.

• Digital signs in every station announce when the next trains are coming.

• Digital signs in every car announce the upcoming stop.

  • Most of line runs underground so if you are looking for a tour of the city you may want to take a bus.

The Trek to Buy our Pass

We thought buying a metro pass card would be a piece of cake… you can recharge your card at many grocery stores, kiosks and at the metro station. But…you can only buy a card at the metro station. So, because we didn’t have a card we couldn’t ride the bus to the train station to buy the card…catch 22! We didn’t want to spend money on a taxi…and let’s face it; we need the exercise, so we walked well over a mile to the station to purchase our pass. We even stopped at a McDonald’s and enjoyed a sausage McMuffin, a little taste of home, something we haven’t had in 6 months.

At the Station

With the help of two very nice Panamanian women we purchased a re-loadable transit card for $2. Once you have that, you can load the card with as much money as you need at the automated kiosks. The card works for the metro train as well as the bus.
The greatest thing to us is just how cheap public transportation is. You can take the metro train for 35 cents or a bus for 25 cents per ride. It is so much faster to take the train or the bus rather than get stuck in traffic with the beeping madness of the city. Keep on the lookout for a future blog about the art of “horn blowing 101” in Panama.
Panama City Metro
Metro de Panama card
 Panama City Metro
Buy your pass or recharge your ticket at the orange kiosk

The Panama City Metro

The stations and the metro trains were very clean and air conditioned. We never saw garbage anywhere. In addition to it being clean and fast, there were police at the stations as well as on board the train. We never felt unsafe in the train or walking around in the city, it was nice to know that if something were to happen, that there were police that could handle the situation.

Panama City Metro
The stops along the route
Panama City Metro
Maps of the stops are posted in the stations and stops are announced on the trains

CostaWhyNot

CostaWhyNot

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Spencer & Mary Jurrens
costawhynot@gmail.com
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