Transport in Panama
Transport in Panama is fairly well developed. The majority of the trips are done by car while a great part in public transport. The public transportation system is in need of modernization and other improvements.
total: 355 km
broad gauge 5 ft (1,524 mm): all converted to standard gauge (2000), but for the ship handling tracks along the Panama Canal locks (for locomotives called mules)
standard gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm): 76 km, converted from broad gauge (2000)
narrow gauge 3 ft (914 mm): 279 km (No longer in service)
total: 11,258 km
paved: 3,783 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 7,475 km (1999 est.)
Highways are somewhat well developed for Central America. In Panama City are 6 highways working being that the Panama—Arraijan Bridge of the Americas, Panama-Arraijan Centennial Bridge, Arraijan-Chorrera, Corredor Norte, Corredor Sur, and Autopista Alberto Motta
Panama's roads, traffic and transportation systems are generally safe, but traffic lights often do not exist, even at busy intersections. Driving is often hazardous and demanding due to dense traffic, undisciplined driving habits, poorly maintained streets, and a lack of effective signs and traffic signals. On roads where poor lighting and driving conditions prevail, night driving is difficult. Night driving is particularly hazardous on the old Panama City – Colon highway.
Buses and taxis are not always maintained in a safe operating condition due to lack of regulatory enforcement. Since 2007, auto insurance is mandatory in Panama. Traffic in Panama moves on the right, and Panamanian law requires that drivers and passengers wear seat belts.
Flooding during the April to December rainy season occasionally makes city streets impassable and washes out some roads in the interior of the country. In addition, rural areas are often poorly maintained and lack illumination at night. Such roads are generally less traveled and the availability of emergency roadside assistance is very limited. Road travel is more dangerous during the rainy season and in the interior from Carnival through Good Friday. Carnival starts the Saturday prior to Ash Wednesday and goes on for four days.
crude oil 130 km
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 71 countries among which are (2005 update)
Foreign Owned Ships: 4,388
117 (2006 est.)
Airports - with paved runways
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 28 (2006 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 53 (2006 est.)
- "Panama: Country-specific information". U.S. Department of State (March 18, 2009). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.