Panama unveils plan for nine-line metro by 2040

Panama has unveiled plans to complete a nine-line metro in Panama City by 2040. At present, one line has been built, another is under construction and a third will take the form of a Japanese-financed monorail.

The plan was outlined by Roberto Roy, the chairman and chief executive of Metro de Panama.

Speaking at a conference organised by La Prensa newspaper into the future of the country, he outlined a masterplan of 90 stations covering the metropolitan area of Panama City.

The unveiling of the masterplan follows a successful opening of Line 1 in 2014; this was expected to carry 120,000 passengers a day, but in fact is used by 260,000.

The present state of the masterplan (Source: Metro de Panama)

Lines 1 and 2 were both awarded to a consortium led by Odebrecht of Brazil and FCC of Spain, and each will cost about $2bn. The masterplan envisages extensions to both of these.

The fourth and fifth lines will be underground and the remaining four will take the form of trams or light rail.

Roy predicted that when all eight lines are operating, their transport capacity will be 260,000 passengers every two hours.

However, he warned that the price would soon rise as the present 35-cent fare "was not worth a raspao", referring the cones of shaved ice sold on Panamanian streets.

Top photograph: Line 1 of the Metro is now carrying more than twice as many passengers as predicted (Wikimedia Commons)

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