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More cars, less room to drive

Monday, June 13, 2016


Cars can comfortably take you to work, to your friends, and to beautiful places all over the country, which is why car sales are strong in the region, especially Nicaragua, where they are up 10 percent.

The bad news is that cars can strangle cities, including San José and Panama City, which have serious traffic congestion, and where public transport is slow, expensive and sometimes unsafe.

Costa Rica has been unable to streamline a bus network, which involves 15 different companies competing for space.

Panama’s Metro for its part is the most system of public transit in Central America.

Meanwhile, unlicensed and unregulated buses swarm the capital, connecting neighborhoods with no Metro access.

If Panama were going to subsidize public transit, as it does with the Metro, it might have been better to subsidize a bus system with extensive routes.

Costa Ricans could have a better system of transportation without paying more, since bus fares cover the cost of the operation.

So far, successive governments have extended the permits of the current operators.