Getting Rid of “Diablo Rojo” Buses in Panama

Getting Rid of “Diablo Rojo” Buses WIll Cost $37.5 Million Dollars
Saturday, May 29 2010 @ 01:46 PM EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

Views: 172

Rescuing the public transportation system will cost Panamanian taxpayers more than $37.5 million dollars, thanks to payments that will be made to the owners of the existing “Red Devil” buses and the reparations of buses the government has already acquired as part of the now-cancelled Transmóvil plan, from the administration of Martin Torrijos. The government started paying bus owners $25,000 dollars during the past administration as part of a compensation plan. Despite criticism from some sectors of civil society, this process will continue under the current administration of Ricardo Martinelli, with payments starting again in August or September of this year in order to remove the 1,480 buses that are still operating from the streets.
The first $500,000 was paid to purchase eight buses that were declared to be a “total loss” by the National Institute of Vocational Training for Human Development (INADEH), and another twelve that had many technical and mechanical problems. INADEH director Temístocles Rojas said they have had to spent $2,000 to repair and transform the former “Red Devil” buses, not including labor and payments for the yard where the buses are being kept. He said they had to fix the electrical systems and brakes of the buses, repair holes in the floors and fix the seats which were detached from their base. The buses that were declared as total losses were used for parts that are not available on the local market, he said. They have also had to buy new tires, grind engine blocks, change suspension systems, and paint the buses to be used as school buses. For the 120 students who are learning how to repair the buses, the INADEH has had to invest additional funds to pay for instructors, about which Rosas did not provide any additional details, and he only said they had to hire three more instructors at a cost of $4,000 dollars. (Panama America)

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