Panama Metro

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Panama Metro
Alstom Metropolis trainset on Line 1 (2014)
Alstom Metropolis trainset on Line 1 (2014)
Native nameMetro de Panamá
OwnerMetro de Panamá, S.A. (state owned enterprise)
LocalePanama City, Panama
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines2 (+1 under construction)
Number of stations32
Daily ridership180,000 (March 2015)[1]
Annual ridership81,500,000+
Began operationApril 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)
CharacterFully grade separated (underground and elevated)
Number of vehicles47 Alstom Metropolis
Train length5-car trainsets[2]
System length39.8 km (24.7 mi)[3]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line1,500 V DC
System map
Nuevo Tocumen
24 de Diciembre
Altos de Tocumen
Hospital del Este
Tocumen International Airport Aeropuerto
Las Mañanitas
Corredor Sur
Don Bosco
San Antonio
Cerro Viento
Brisas del Golf
Villa Zaita
El Crisol
San Isidro
Villa Lucre
Los Andes
Pan de Azúcar
San Miguelito
Pueblo Nuevo
12 de Octubre
El Ingenio
Fernández de Córdoba
Vía Argentina
Iglesia del Carmen
Santo Tomás
5 de Mayo

The Panama Metro (Spanish: Metro de Panamá) is a rapid transit system in Panama City, Panama.[4] It links neighborhoods north and the east of the metropolitan area to the city center.

The Metro was built to relieve the traffic congestion between the city and San Miguelito District and to offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as the MiBus transit system was suffering multiple issues.

The Metro operates seven days a week and 365 days a year. Its hours are Monday-Friday 05:00–23:00, Saturday 05:00–22:00, and Sundays and holidays 07:00–22:00.[5]

The 15.8-kilometer (9.8 mi) Line 1 opened on April 6, 2014,[6] serving 14 stations.[7] Line 2 was opened partially and temporarily between January 14 and 17, 2019 for World Youth Day festivities and permanently opened on April 25; it covers a 21-kilometer (13 mi) route and serves sixteen stations. A three-station branch line (El Ramal) to the Airport opened on March 16, 2023.

San Miguelito is the interchange station for both lines.[8][9][10]

The Panama Metro is part of a major "National Master Plan" to improve transportation around Panama City, which includes the construction of two more rapid transit lines, two monorail lines, three tram lines, and an aerial lift line.


Line 1[edit]


The government of Panama invited tenders for a contract to build the metro system.[11] The governments of Brazil[12] and Taiwan[13] 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.[14]

In October 2009, the POYRY/Cal y Mayor y Asociados consortium won the contract for counseling the project development,[15] and in 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. The second phase consisted of several soil studies, topography, and demand refinings. Both phases were started and executed simultaneously in late 2009.


In December 2010, the government finally awarded the tender for the construction of the subway. The third and the fourth phases of the project took place between 2011 and 2012 and consisted of the construction of all viaducts and stations and the relocation of the public utilities. The control center that supervises the whole metro operations and the Automatic Train Supervision was provided by Thales, along with the network infrastructure and communication and security solutions including CCTV, telephony, intercom, TETRA radio, visual and audio information to passengers, and fire detection.

By September 2013, construction of Line 1 was 92% complete, which allowed a test run with some of the rolling stock.[16]


The construction of Line 1 cost $1.452 billion. The authority in charge of the planning, construction, and execution of the project had 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.[17]

Early operations[edit]

On April 5, 2014, Line 1 was opened, and the first public passenger trips on the new system were carried out. The next day, the line entered active passenger revenue service.[6] In its first year of operations, the system carried 200,000 people per day on average, 25% more than had been expected.[18]

The initial segment of Panama Metro's Line 1 ran over a mostly north–south route, from Los Andes to the Albrook bus station (where the system's maintenance shop is located), and extended over 13.7 kilometers (8.5 mi) of route, including 7.2 kilometers (4.5 mi) underground and 6.5 kilometers (4.0 mi) elevated.[6] Initially, Line 1 had 11 passenger stations: 5 elevated, 5 underground, and 1 at-grade; 3 more stations were later added. The twelfth station, Lotería, which was the sixth underground station, opened on August 27, 2014.[3] The El Ingenio subway station, located between the underground Fernández de Córdoba station and the first elevated station, 12 de Octubre, was originally scheduled to open in August 2014,[19] but it opened on May 8, 2015.[20]

The original northern terminus station of the metro was Los Andes.[19] However, it was a temporary terminus station since the government had approved an extension of Line 1 to a final elevated station in San Isidro.[21] San Isidro was also originally scheduled to open in August 2014, but it finally opened on August 15, 2015.[22] The extension to San Isidro added 2.1 kilometers (1.3 mi) of route to the system and extended the metro's total route length to 15.8 kilometers (9.8 mi).[3]

Line 2[edit]


On May 16, 2014, three different consortiums offered several proposals for the planning, cost estimation, and technical feasibility of Line 2 of the system.[23] After making a detailed inquiry of all proposals, the Metro de Panama secretary announced on July 12, 2014, that the PML2 consortium, which includes the Spanish "Ayesa Ingeniería y Arquitectura", the "Barcelona Metro", and the American "Louis Berger Group," had been awarded the contract.[24][25] The project was to cost $2.200 billion.[26] It ended up costing only $1.857 billion.[27]

The construction contract was awarded to Linea 2 Consortium, formed by Odebrecht from Brazil and FCC from Spain, the same consortium that built Line 1 of the Panama Metro. Construction officially started in September 2015.[28] Originally, Line 2 had to be delivered in April 2019, but since Panama City was hosting the Catholic World Youth Summit in January 2019, construction was being accelerated, and a new delivery date was announced as December 31, 2018, to serve the one million tourists who were expected to attend the summit.[29] However, in 2018, a month-long labor strike eroded over US$900 million from the annual GDP figure and caused the same amount of losses. That pushed back the delivery date to the original delivery date. However, the first test ran with 12 trains for 8 hours was conducted on December 28, with a partial opening on January 15 with five stations for the summit. The line was then closed again and re-opened on the original date.[30] In August 2018, it was announced that Line 2 would operate partially from Corredor Sur to San Miguelito 24 hours a day during the summit.[31] In January 2019, it was announced that Line 2 would open from January 18 to 28, with five stations operating, including 42 hours of continuous operations on the 26th and the 27th.[32]

Line 2 was formally opened on April 25, 2019.[28]

On March 16, 2023, a branch of Line 2, known as El Ramal, connecting Corredor Sur and Tocumen International Airport, Aeropuerto, was opened.[33] There are no through trains to Aeropuerto, the trains start at Corredor Sur.[34]


Line 1[edit]

People travelling in one of the trainsets

Panama Metro's Line 1 runs over a mostly north–south route from San Isidro to the Albrook bus station (where a Metro maintenance facility is located). It extends over 15.8 kilometers (9.8 mi) of route, including 7.2 kilometers (4.5 mi) underground.[11] It has 14 passenger stations: 6 elevated, 7 underground, and 1 at-grade. The stations have a platform length of approximately 110 meters (360 ft).[7]

A complete journey of Line 1 lasts about 25 minutes.[citation needed] It begins its current route at the elevated San Isidro station, north of the city, continuing on viaduct via the original terminus of Los Andes, Pan de Azúcar station, San Miguelito station, Pueblo Nuevo (close to the Estrella Azul factory) to reach 12 de Octubre (the final elevated station), where it enters a trench, towards the underground section of Line 1. It continues its journey through the underground stations of El Ingenio, Fernandez de Cordoba, Vía Argentina, Iglesia del Carmen, Santo Tomás, Lotería, and 5 de Mayo. Finally, it reaches the terminus station, the system's only at-grade station, Albrook, with a bridge connection to the bus terminal and Albrook Mall.

Line 2

Panama Metro's Line 2 runs over a mostly west-east route from San Miguelito station (interchange station with Line 1) to Nuevo Tocumen station (where are located the maintenance shop of Line 2) It extends over 23 kilometers of route, this line have 18 stations (16 in the main line and 2 in the extension inaugurated in March 2023 called "El Ramal") all the stations in this line are elevated, the stations have the same length platform that the Line 1 stations.

The stations are: San Miguelito, Paraíso, Cincuentenario, Villa Lucre, El Crisol, Brisas del Golf, Cerro Viento (this station gives access to Metromall and Centro Comercial Los Pueblos), San Antonio, Pedregal, Don Bosco, Corredor Sur (station of interchange with "El Ramal"), Las Mañanitas, Hospital del Este, Altos de Tocumen, 24 de Diciembre and Nuevo Tocumen (where the maintenance shop of Line 2 is located). Line 2 formally opened on April 25, 2019.[28]

The stations of the Ramal are: Corredor Sur (interchange station with the primary route of Line 2), ITSE (serves the Instituto Técnico Superior Especializado) and Aeropuerto (serves Tocumen International Airport).

Operating hours[edit]

The Metro operates seven days a week and 365 days a year. Its hours are Monday-Friday 05:00–23:00, Saturday 05:00–22:00, and Sundays and holidays 07:00–22:00.[35]

Rolling stock[edit]

Alstom has delivered 19 three-car Metropolis trainsets for the Panamá Metro.[36] The rolling stock is very similar to the Barcelona Metro 9000 Series and were built at Alstom's factory in Spain and underwent preliminary testing on the FGC network in Barcelona.

The first three 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.[37] The trains initially consist of three-car sets, but all stations were built to accommodate five-car trainsets in anticipation of expected future ridership demand and some trains delivered since February 2018 have five cars, instead of three.[38]

Trains collect their power from a rigid, I-shaped, overhead rail using a pantograph. The system delivers 1,500 V DC to trains with 13.8 kV 60 Hz AC being used for power distribution to the power substations that supply the DC power.[39]

Planned expansion[edit]

The metro is eventually planned to extend to 9 lines by 2040 or 2035.[40] The first five lines will be metro lines, with the last three tram lines, a cable car system for San Miguelito and a monorail line for the planned city of Panama Pacifico.[40][41][42]

Line 1[edit]

Line 1 is nearly complete in its current form. Curundu, an infill station near the southern end of Line 1, is expected to open in 2024.[40] An extension of the line one stop to the north to a new station at Villa Zaita is 57% complete as of April 2023.[43]

Line 2[edit]

Line 2 will run for 29 km (18 mi) from Parque Urraca, in the Punta Pacifica district to Felipillo, and will be built in three phases.[40] The first phase will run from San Miguelito to Nuevo Tocumen. The first phase of construction took four years.[44] Construction on Line 2 broke ground on October 5, 2015, with construction expected to take 44 months.[45]

The second phase (Line 2A) will then extend the line from San Miguelito to either Parque Urraca or Punta Pacifica, in the south of Panama City. It will be almost completely underground. Line 2A will be only 9 km long, but since building a metro line underground costs three times as much as building it an elevated metro line, Line 2A could cost as much as Line 2.[46][47] The final phase will extend the line by one station, from Nuevo Tocumen to Felipillo.[40] Phase 1 is 21 km (13 mi) long, and as of September 2018, the new line was 85% complete, allowing for test runs until Cerro Viento station with four (5-car) trains. By November 2018, test runs covered the entire length of phase 1. Fourteen trains were operational in the World Youth Day in January 2019 in manual mode at a top speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). In normal operation, trains will run autonomously at 70 km/h (43 mph) with the driver only supervising the train's systems. A branch line is proposed that would start on Condado del Rey station and run along the Via Centenario until it reaches MERCA Panama.[48]

Line 3 (monorail)[edit]

Line 3 is planned to run 24.5 kilometres (15.2 mi) and serve 14 stations between West Panama and Albrook station in Panama City, where transfers can be made to Line 1.[49] The line will travel in a tunnel up to 60 meters (200 ft) under the Panama Canal.[49] Line 3 is financed by a US$2.6 billion loan from the Japanese government, with Japanese firms taking the lead on the project.[49][50] Hitachi Rail is the primary contractor for the line and will supply 28 six-car Hitachi Monorail trains.[51] Construction on the line started in February 2021 and is expected to be finished by 2025.[52] There are plans for a second phase two extending the line to La Chorrera, with the Japanese government approving a US$697 million loan for project development.[49]

Lines 4 and 5 (rapid transit)[edit]

Lines 4 and 5 will operate with rapid transit trains similar to Lines 1 and 2 and are scheduled to open by 2040.[40]

Line 4 will run between Curundú (a proposed infill station on Line 1) and Don Bosco in Tocumen.

Line 5 will run between Santo Tomás station on Line 1 and El Crisol station on Line 2.

Lines 6, 7, and 8 (tram)[edit]

Lines 6, 7 and 8 will operate with trams.[40]

Line 6 will operate between Merca Panama and Curundú (a proposed infill station on Line 1).

Line 7 will be tourist oriented and will be a continuation of Line 6 between Curundú and the Casco Antiguo district.

Line 8 will run between Don Bosco station (transfer point to Line 4) and Villa Zaita (transfer point to Line 1).

Line 9 (monorail)[edit]

Line 9 will be a monorail running between Ciudad del Futuro (transfer point to Line 3) and Centennial Bridge via Veracruz and Panamá Pacífico International Airport.[53]

Metrocable (aerial lift)[edit]

Metrocable is an aerial lift system which will run through the San Miguelito District. The primary line is expected to run between Cincuentenario station and Villa Maria station on Line 8. There are also two proposed branch lines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Metro cambia patrones de consumo en Panamá" [Metro changing consumption patterns in Panama]. Capital Financiero (in Spanish). March 23, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Quiñones, Erika. "Ya se encuentra en funcionamiento el primer tren de cinco vagones – El Metro de Panamá".
  3. ^ a b c "Hoy Abre Sus Puertas La Estación Loteria Del Metro" [Metro Loteria Station Opens Today] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. August 27, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Línea Uno consortium to build Panamá Metro". Railway Gazette International. October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  5. ^ "Parámetros – El Metro de Panamá".
  6. ^ a b c "Panamá City metro opens". Railway Gazette International. April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Línea 1 del Metro de Panamá" [Line 1 of the Panama Metro] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  8. ^ León Barría, Guadalupe (April 26, 2019). "Varela pone en funcionamiento la Línea 2 del Metro" [Varela opens the metro's line two]. La Estrella de Panamá (in Spanish). Panama City. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Operación del Metro durante la JMJ – El Metro de Panamá".
  10. ^ "Apertura de la Línea 2 del Metro supone un nuevo hito en Panamá".
  11. ^ a b "Panamá metro project launched". Railway Gazette International. January 18, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "Brazil offers credit to build the Panama Metro". August 19, 2009. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "Taiwan willing to advise Martinelli in subway construction in Panama". June 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "Spain's FCC group wins massive Panama metro contract". October 30, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Panama Metro design will be carried by Mexican-Swiss consortium". Panamagazine. October 19, 2009. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Briginshaw, David (September 27, 2013). "Panama's first metro line nears completion". International Railway Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  17. ^ "Costo del Proyecto del Metro se Mantiene" [Cost of Metro Project still the same] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. December 5, 2012. Archived from the original on August 25, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  18. ^ Alvarado, Nicanor (April 5, 2015). "Línea Uno del metro: un año y 693 millones de dólares después" [Metro line 1: a year and 693 million dollars later]. La Estrella de Panamá (in Spanish). Panama City. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Conoce la Línea 1 del Metro de Panamá" [Meet Line 1 of the Panama Metro] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. 2014. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  20. ^ "Estación El Ingenio del Metro de Panamá abre sus puertas" [El Ingenio Station of the Panama Metro opens its doors] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. May 8, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  21. ^ "Red Maestra del Metro de Panamá" [Network Master of the Panama Metro] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. Archived from the original (jpg) on April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  22. ^ "#MetroInforma desde hoy, sábado 15 de agosto, la estación San Isidro abre sus puertas al público. Ya está operativa. #Panamá #PanamáPrimero" [#MetroInforma Today, Saturday 15 August, the San Isidro station opens its doors to the public. It is already operational. # Panama # PanamáPrimero] (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. August 15, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2016 – via Facebook.
  23. ^ "Tres firmas aspiran a gerenciar la Línea dos del Metro de Panamá". La Prensa. May 16, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  24. ^ "Adjudican gerencia de la Línea 2 del Metro a consorcio hispano-estadounidense". La Prensa. July 12, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  25. ^ "Gerencia de Linea 2, a cargo de PML2". Panamá América. July 12, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  26. ^ "Costo del Metro costará 2 mil millones" (in Spanish). Metro de Panamá. July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  27. ^ "Línea 2 del Metro de Panamá aumenta su costo con nuevas adendas".
  28. ^ a b c Rivera, Lourdes. "Presidente Varela entrega la Línea 2 del Metro de Panamá, obra construida con "transparencia y eficiencia" – El Metro de Panamá".
  29. ^ "Visita del papa Francisco a Panamá acelera construcción de línea 2 del metro y extensión hacia aeropuerto de Tocumen | La Prensa Panamá". September 13, 2016.
  30. ^ "Varela espera que la primera prueba de la Línea 2 sea el 28 de diciembre". TVN. June 2, 2018.
  31. ^ "Línea 2 del Metro funcionará 24 horas al día durante la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud". Panamá América. August 31, 2018.
  32. ^ "User Guide for use of Metro of Panama during JMJ Panamá 2019" (PDF). Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  33. ^ Schwandl, Robert. "Panamá". urbanrail.
  34. ^ Quiñones, Erika (March 14, 2023). "Todo listo para la puesta en operación del Ramal Línea 2". Metro de Panama.
  35. ^ "Parámetros – El Metro de Panamá".
  36. ^ "First Panamá metro trains delivered". Railway Gazette. May 17, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  37. ^ "La acción a punto de empezar: trenes y funcionamiento". La Prensa. April 5, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  38. ^ "Metro de Panamá pone en marcha primer tren con cinco vagones | la Prensa Panamá". February 5, 2018.
  39. ^ "Secretaria de Metro de Panama – Turnkey Metro for Panama Metro L1" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2015.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g "Las nueve líneas de metro que unirán a Panamá en 2040". La Estrella de Panamá (in Spanish). March 19, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  41. ^ "Construirán Línea 9 hacia Panamá Oeste". (in Spanish). October 18, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  42. ^ "Teleférico en San Miguelito no es un 'show mediático'". Panamá América. October 30, 2018.
  43. ^ Quiñones, Erika (April 19, 2023). "Finaliza montaje de vigas "U" en Villa Zaita" [Installation of "U" beams in Villa Zaita is completed]. Panama Metro (in Spanish). Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  44. ^ "Construcción de la Línea 2 del Metro, podría tomar 4 años". Telemetro. July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  45. ^ "Panamá City metro Line 2 breaks ground". Railway Gazette International. October 6, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  46. ^ "El Metro de Panamá continuará extendiéndose". April 27, 2019.
  47. ^ "Adjudican gerencia de la Línea 2 del Metro a consorcio hispano-estadounidense". La Prensa. July 12, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  48. ^ "José Blandón realizó recorrido en la Línea 2 del Metro". Telemetro.
  49. ^ a b c d "Panama Metro Line 3". Railway Technology. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  50. ^ "Panama monorail line to be financed by Japan". Railway Track and Structures. April 21, 2016.
  51. ^ "Wabtec Wins Order to Supply Panama's Metrolink System with Leading-Edge Platform Screen Doors". Wabtec. September 15, 2022. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  52. ^ "Panama Line 3 monorail starts construction". February 4, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  53. ^ "Construirán Línea 9 hacia Panamá Oeste". El Capital. October 18, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2021.

External links[edit]