Construction industry expert Gabriel Btesh provides a detailed look at his home city’s transportation infrastructure.
From its international airport to its bus and taxi services, the Republic of Panama’s capital city’s transportation network is both busy and ever-evolving. That’s according to local construction industry expert Gabriel Btesh as he provides a closer look at the infrastructure for travel in and around Panama City.
Gabriel Btesh starts at Panama’s international airport. “Located on the outskirts toward the east of Panama City’s metropolitan area, Tocumen International is the Republic of Panama’s primary airport,” explains Panama City native Btesh. Panama’s official international airport, Tocumen serves as the base for Copa Airlines—the flag carrier of Panama, which is headquartered in Panama City—and is a major hub for travel to and from much of the Caribbean and Central and South America, according to the construction expert.
Panama City is also further served by two additional, smaller airports—Panama Pacifico and Marcos A. Gelabert—both of which are former air force bases, Gabriel Btesh reports.
Gabriel Btesh is a veteran of Panama City’s thriving construction industry, now with more than three decades of experience. He’s renowned within the industry for his socially conscious approach to construction, and for his efforts to foster better than ever standards of living throughout the city and across the wider Central and South American republic as a whole.
Next, Gabriel Btesh turns to road travel. “With travel by personal vehicle a common way of getting around for many people in Panama City, the road network is often congested,” reveals Gabriel. City-wide, day in and day out, there are frequent traffic jams, he says, owing to an especially high level of private vehicle ownership per kilometer of road network. “This,” proud Panamanian Btesh goes on, “ultimately spawned the Panama Metro rapid transit system, first inaugurated in 2014.”
Designed to relieve congestion, the Panama Metro rapid transit system now offers Panama City’s commuters a viable alternative to road travel, according to Gabriel Btesh. “Our metro system,” he notes, “was initially funded by an increase in tax rates amid rapidly worsening traffic jams.”
Bus travel is also popular in Panama City, Gabriel Btesh says. In fact, figures show that both in Panama City and nationwide, bus services are among the country’s most widely used forms of transportation overall. “Panama City itself,” Btesh reveals, “is largely served by a primary bus terminal located in Ancon.”
Thousands of passengers now use the city’s bus services daily, often traveling in from locations such as Chiriqui, David, and Panama’s central provinces of Los Santos and Herrera. “The Ancon terminal also regularly receives international visitors traveling via the Pan-American Highway,” adds Gabriel Btesh.
Finally, Gabriel Btesh touches briefly on Panama City’s yellow taxis. “Here, taxis do not use meters to measure fares,” reveals the Panama City native in closing, “and, instead, refer to a zoning system for pricing, as published by Panama’s transit authority.”