Let's be clear, riding one of the Rojo's is not like navigating the streets of SF in your Subaru. Oh no, this is a dangerous, chaotic and enervating exercise that residents are delighted to see ride off into the sunset. Why? Well, consider:
- Danger- The privately owned buses are known for a flagrant disregard for traffic laws and the general well being of their riders. Once they were school buses in Florida, and went on to second lives as the workhorse of the PC transit system.
- Private Ownership- They're all privately owned. This means that the mass transportation in PC is subject to market forces. This means that the more people they carry quickly, the more money they make. Oh, and since the officials were looking the other way for the longest time, it meant the ride was nothing short of a highway to hell.
- Public Transportation = Worldly- Pres Martinelli is eager to recast PC as the Singapore of Central America- the sort of place that attracts global corporations b/c it is safe, stable and sane. Part of that is having a reliable public transportation system that doesn't maim riders with alarming regularity.
|Careful in the crosswalk!|
I have to wonder if one day the Rojo's will inspire civic nostalgia for their colorful, albeit odious presence. I'd hazard the guess that if you must ride these daily, your threshold for this type nostalgia is significantly higher than mine. So the answer is 'not any time soon'. That's just as well. And, let's hope the residents of Panama City get the ride they rightly deserve.