Panama Metro

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Panama Metro
Metro yt.png
Alstom Metropolis del Metro de Panamá - 2014.JPG
Alstom Metropolis on the Line 1 (2014).
Native name Metro de Panamá
Locale Panama City, Panama
Transit type Metro
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 12 (2 more to open in August 2014,
1 more planned)
Daily ridership 170,000 (June 2014)[2]
Website El Metro de Panamá
Began operation April 5, 2014
Operator(s) El Metro de Panamá
Number of vehicles 19 Alstom Metropolis
Train length 3-car trainsets
System length 13.7 km (8.5 mi)[3]

The Panama Metro (Spanish: Metro de Panamá) is a metropolitan rapid transit railway in Panama City, Panama,[4] which currently links Los Andes County with the city center. It was inaugurated on April 5, 2014.

It was built to relieve the traffic congestion between the city and San Miguelito District and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as the Metrobus transport system is suffering multiple issues.

The Panama Metro is part of a major “National Master Plan” to improve transportation in Panama City as well as the west side of the country, which includes the construction of two more lines and a light rail. It currently consists of one 13.7-kilometer (8.5 mi) line,[3] serving 12 stations, with 2 more stations set to open in August 2014, and a fifteenth station planned.[1]


The Government of Panama invited tenders for a contract to build the metro system.[5] The governments of Brazil[6] and Taiwan[7] offered to invest on the project. After an exhaustive inspection of all proposals for the construction of the railway system, the Línea Uno consortium, which includes the Spanish Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), won the contract.[8]

In October 2009, the consortium POYRY/Cal y Mayor y Asociados won the contract for the counseling of the project development,[9] meanwhile on January 2010, Systra was awarded a contract to create detailed infrastructure designs.

The first phase of the project consisted of planning, cost estimation and technical feasibility; meanwhile the second phase consisted of several soil studies, topography, and demand refinings. Both phases were started and executed simultaneously at late 2009. In December 2010, the government finally awarded the tender for the construction of the subway.

Phase three and four of the project took place between 2011 and 2012, and was consisted of the construction of all the viaducts and stations and the public utilities relocations.

By September 2013, construction of Line 1 was 92% complete, allowing a test run with some of the rolling stock.[10]


The project of Line 1 had a cost of $1.452 billion. The Metro authority, in charge of the planning, construction, and execution of the project, has a budget of $200 million for the year 2012.[citation needed] In December 2011, the Secretaría del Metro de Panamá clarified that the updated cost of the project is US$1.880 billion, including public utilities relocations and engineering and project management costs.[11]

Opening to passenger traffic[edit]

On 5 April 2014, Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli inaugurated Line 1 in time record and the first public passenger trip on the new system was carried out the same day. On 6 April 2014, the Metro subway system entered into active service.

In the first week, the Panama Metro transported more than a million passengers.


Line 1[edit]

The Panama Metro's Line 1 was planned to run over a mostly north-south route, from Los Andes to the Albrook bus station (where the system's maintenance shop is located), and extends over 13.7 kilometers (8.5 mi) of route, including 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) underground and 6.3 kilometers (3.9 mi) in viaduct.[5] It has twelve passenger stations: 5 elevated, 6 underground, and 1 at-grade. The stations have a platform length of approximately 110 meters (360 ft).[3]

It begins its route in Los Andes, north of the city, continuing on to Pan de Azucar and then to San Miguelito District. Afterwards, it continues through Pueblo Nuevo (close to the Estrella Azul factory) to reach 12 de Octubre, where it enters to the northern trench, towards the underground section of Line 1. It continues its journey through the underground stations of Fernandez de Cordoba, Vía Argentina, Iglesia del Carmen, followed by Santo Tomás, Lotería and 5 de Mayo; until it reaches the Albrook Bus Terminal station.

The final station on the route will be the northern terminal station of Los Andes that will open in August 2014.[3] It is expected to be a temporary terminal station, since the government has approved a future extension of Line 1 to an additional station in San Isidro, which is currently under construction.[12] Also, it is expected that El Ingenio station,[3] another station located between the underground station Fernández de Córdoba and the first elevated station 12 de Octubre will be opened by August 2014.

There are also plans to develop an underground station in Curundú, by the fact that the future city government will be built at that location. It is expected to be constructed some time after the metro has been inaugurated.[3]

The complete journey of Line 1 lasts about 23 minutes.

Rolling stock[edit]

People boarding one of the trainsets.

Alstom has delivered 19 three-car Metropolis trainsets for the Panamá Metro.[13] The trains were built at Alstom’s Santa Perpètua de Mogoda factory in Spain and underwent preliminary testing on the FGC network in Barcelona.

The first 3 trains were shipped from Spain and arrived May 25, 2013. The standard gauge units have air-conditioning, CCTV and passenger information, and can accommodate 600 passengers per trainset.[14] The trains initially consist of three cars, but all stations are being built to accommodate at least five car trains in anticipation of expected future ridership demands.

Unlike other rapid transportation systems, the Panama Metro does not have a third rail and trainsets instead collect their power from an overhead line system.


  1. ^ a b "Línea 1 Conoce los accesos a sus estaciones" [Line 1 Explore access to stations] (pdf) (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Conoce la Línea 1 del Metro de Panamá" [Meet Line 1 of the Panama Metro] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Línea Uno consortium to build Panamá Metro". Railway Gazette. October 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Panamá metro project launched". Railway Gazette. January 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  6. ^ "Brazil offers credit to build the Panama Metro". August 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  7. ^ "Taiwan willing to advise Martinelli in subway construction in Panama". June 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  8. ^ "Spain's FCC group wins massive Panama metro contract". October 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  9. ^ "Panama Metro design will be carried by Mexican-Swiss consortium". Panamagazine. October 19, 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  10. ^ Briginshaw, David (September 27, 2013). "Panama’s first metro line nears completion". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  11. ^ "Costo del Proyecto del Metro se Mantiene" [Cost of Metro Project still the same] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. December 5, 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  12. ^ "Red Maestra del Metro de Panamá" [Network Master of the Panama Metro] (jpg) (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  13. ^ "First Panamá metro trains delivered". Railway Gazette. May 17, 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  14. ^ "La acción a punto de empezar: trenes y funcionamiento". La Prensa. April 5, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 8°59′N 79°31′W / 8.983°N 79.517°W / 8.983; -79.517