Growth and Infrastructure collide as Panama economy rises

Energy/Infrastructure

Panama has led economic growth in Latin America in the last five years, but this bonanza has not translated into a better quality of life in terms of urban mobility.

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More time behind the wheel
A report by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) on urban growth shows that it takes 72 minutes for Panamanians using public transport to move from their homes to work or vice versa. That is, each day people spend more than 2 hours transporting, when the average in Latin America is 40 minutes per trip.

Juan Vargas , chief economist of the Directorate of Socioeconomic Research of the CAF, said that Panama’s challenge, like its Latin American counterparts, is to improve mobility to take advantage of the thrust of urban areas.

He comments that in the case of Panama the average journey of a public transport user is 17 kilometers, while in the region it is less than 12 kilometers.

The CAF report highlights the progress the country has made with the construction of Metro Line 1 and the plans to build new extensions. To boost the development of urban areas, the CAF suggests promoting the use of mixed zones where production and business centers are close to homes.

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