Panama seeks consultants to build out nascent metro system

The government of Panama has called for expressions of interest in a pre-feasibility study for a major expansion of its metro system.

The study would lead to a masterplan for a five-line network. Now it has just one line, which opened in 2014, with another under construction.

The study, which would concentrate on lines four and five, would examine the "physical, socioeconomic and urban development variables" and determine the best location for stations.

The first line, which was commissioned in 2014, was built by Spanish contractor Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC). FCC was also part of the consortium that is building the $1.8bn line 2 project, along with Brazilian contractors Odebrecht and Construtora Norberto.

An indicative layout of a five-line metro system (Metro de Panama)

Ensnared in Brazil’s cascading corruption probe, Odebrecht has been banned from bidding for line 3 or the bridge over the Panama Canal that will be part of the system. This line is to be a $2bn, 27km monorail that will use Japanese technology.

Panama has unveiled plans to complete a nine-line metro by 2040. This will have 90 stations covering the metropolitan area of Panama City. The expansions are being partly driven by the success of line 1, which was expected to carry 120,000 passengers a day, but in fact is used by 260,000.

Top image: The Development Bank of Latin America estimates that the single line metro has generated 5,000 jobs (CAF)

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