Transport in Panama

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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.

Transport human-directed movement of things or people between locations

Transport or transportation is the movement of humans, animals and goods from one location to another. In other words the action of transport is defined as a particular movement of an organism or thing from a point A to the Point B. Modes of transport include air, land, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between people, which is essential for the development of civilizations.

Panama Republic in Central America

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.



mules for the ship handling tracks along the Panama Canal locks 08-130 ESCLUSAS DE MIRAFLORES - Flickr - Anelita PunkRock (1).jpg
mules for the ship handling tracks along the Panama Canal locks

There are 355 km of railway track in Panama:

5 ft and 1520 mm gauge railways railway gauge

Railways with a railway track gauge of 5 ft were first constructed in the United Kingdom and the United States. This gauge is also commonly called Russian gauge because this gauge was later chosen as the common track gauge for the Russian Empire and its neighbouring countries. The gauge was redefined by Soviet Railways to be 1,520 mm.

3 ft gauge railways

Three foot gauge railways have a track gauge of 3 ft or 1 yard. This gauge is a narrow gauge and is generally found throughout North, Central, and South America. In Ireland, many secondary and industrial lines were built to 3 ft gauge, and it is the dominant gauge on the Isle of Man, where it is known as the Manx Standard Gauge. Modern 3 ft gauge railways are most commonly found in isolated mountainous areas, on small islands, or in large-scale amusement parks and theme parks. This gauge is also popular in model railroading, and model prototypes of these railways have been made by several model train brands around the world, such as Accucraft Trains (US), Aristo-Craft Trains (US), Bachmann Industries, Delton Locomotive Works (US), LGB (Germany), and PIKO (Germany).

Road system

Highways are well developed for Central American standards. In Panama there are 4 expressways working, all of them requiring toll payment:

Controlled-access highway Highway designed exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and ingress/egress regulated

A controlled-access highway is a type of highway which has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow ingress- and egress-regulated. Common English terms are freeway, motorway and expressway. Other similar terms include Interstate and parkway. Some of these may be limited-access highways, although this term can also refer to a class of highway with somewhat less isolation from other traffic.

Panama City City in Panama

Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of 880,691, with over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for banking and commerce.

Tocumen International Airport airport

Tocumen International Airport is the international airport of Panama City, the capital of Panama. The airport serves as the homebase for Copa Airlines and is a regional hub to and from The Caribbean, South, North and Central America and additionally features routes to some European and Asian cities.

La Chorrera, Panama District in Panamá Oeste, Panama

La Chorrera is a city and municipality in central Panama, located about 30 km south-west of Panama City. Is the capital of the province of Panamá Oeste and one of the larger cities in the country and is fond of the phrase "La Bella, Enamoradora y Querendona, La Gran Chorrera", reportedly as a tribute to its beautiful women, kind people, and happy nightlife.

Furthermore, the Pan-American highway, has been upgraded to a 4-lane, dual carriageway highway on its stretch from Panama City to Santiago de Veraguas, counting for 248 km of freeway. Also, a small section of the Pan-American highway from Tocumen to Pacora, counting for 18 km has been upgraded to freeway. The same accounts for the Pan-American stretch between David and Capacho, on the border with Costa Rica, adding 55 km of freeway, and for the newly built freeway between David and Bajo Boquete, that extends for 38 km, and for the Chitré - Las Tablas freeway that extends for 30 km.

Santiago de Veraguas City in Veraguas, Panama

Santiago de Veraguas is the capital of the province of Veraguas, in the Republic of Panama, and the district or municipality of the same name. Located in the countryside next to the Pan American Highway. Bounded on the north by San Francisco District, south by the District of Montijo, east District of Atalaya and west by the District of La Mesa.

Pacora Corregimiento in Panamá, Panama

Pacora is a town and corregimiento in Panamá District, Panamá Province, Panama located after Tocumen International Airport

Costa Rica country in Central America

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

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. [2]

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. [3] Traffic in Panama moves on the right, and Panamanian law requires that drivers and passengers wear seat belts. [2]

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. [2]


Mules maneuvering a ship through the Miraflores locks in the Panama Canal. Exclusa Miraflores Canal de Panama Panorama.jpg
Mules maneuvering a ship through the Miraflores locks in the Panama Canal.

800 km navigable by shallow draft vessels; 82 km Panama Canal


crude oil 130 km

Ports and harbors

Atlantic Ocean

Pacific Ocean


Merchant marine

total: 5,005 ships (1,000  gross tonnage (GT) or over) totaling 122,960,929  GT/183,615,337 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
ships by type: (June 2005 Update est.)

note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 71 countries among which are (2005 update)

Foreign Owned Ships: 4,388

  • Andorra 1
  • Argentina 9
  • Australia 3
  • Bahamas 1
  • Belgium 14
  • Brazil 1
  • Canada 1
  • Chile 14
  • China 310
  • Colombia 5
  • Croatia 1
  • Cuba 9
  • Cyprus 7
  • Denmark 13
  • Egypt 15
  • France 7
  • Germany 23
  • Greece 546
  • Hong Kong 159
  • India 8
  • Indonesia 46
  • Ireland 1
  • Isle of Man 2
  • Israel 3
  • Italy 8
  • Japan 1814
  • Jordan 9
  • Latvia 2
  • Lithuania 5
  • Malaysia 11
  • Maldives 1
  • Malta 1
  • Mexico 4
  • Monaco 8
  • Netherlands 22
  • New Zealand 1
  • Nigeria 6
  • Norway 66
  • Pakistan 1
  • Peru 13
  • Philippines 15
  • Poland 19
  • Portugal 8
  • Romania 13
  • Russia 4
  • Saudi Arabia 4
  • Singapore 54
  • South Africa 3
  • South Korea 292
  • Spain 41
  • Sri Lanka 1
  • Sudan 1
  • Sweden 4
  • Switzerland 188
  • Syria 7
  • Taiwan 301
  • Thailand 10
  • Trinidad & Tobago 1
  • Tunisia 1
  • Turkey 18
  • Ukraine 9
  • UAE 83
  • United Kingdom 29
  • United States 88
  • Venezuela 20
  • Vietnam 2
  • Yemen 1


117 (2006 est.)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 53

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

total: 64
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 53 (2006 est.)

See also

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2006-07-01.
  2. 1 2 3 "Panama: Country-specific information" Archived 2013-12-04 at the Wayback Machine .. U.S. Department of State (March 18, 2009). PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2009-09-01.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Transport in Panama at Wikimedia CommonsPD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website .