Posts Tagged ‘Juan Carlos Navarro’

During the early stages of the modernization of Panama mass transportation system, the design, construction and maintenance of the bus stop structures was paid first priority.  The Transportation Department (Autoridad de Tránsito Transporte Terrestre) wanted small, but modern and comfortable structures to serve the bus passengers.

The then Mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro, signed a convenient agreement with Urban Equipment Company of Panama, SA (EUPAN) to build 800 bus stop structures, 3,450 garbage containers, 600 street light adjacent to the bus stop buildings, 25 sun clocks, 500 peddlers’ accommodations, and 750 bus stop benches.  Design, construction and maintenance of all these assets were for the account of the EUPAN.  They would be responsible for paying the bills.

Maintenance and repair charges have been rather steep.  For example, during one year, EUPAN had to disburse approximately $450,000 due to acts of vandalism.  Graffiti, broken glass, burned garbage containers, and damaged ad frames were some of the damages made to the bus stop stations in the urban area of the city, mainly caused by students’ protests and riots.

These considerable expenses were outset by revenue produced by the sale of signs and ads by EUPAN, which is the only entity authorized to contract the placement of ads in this bus stop areas.  We all know how lucrative the publicity market is.  A clear example is Google’s impressive growth in this industry.  It was a convenient deal to both the Municipality of Panama and EUPAN.  City Hall got its modern structures free of charge and EUPAN was able to organize a formidable cash cow, collecting considerable amounts of money by selling ads to businesses in Panama City.  It was a win-win situation for both parties.

It’s most likely that a similar deal will  be worked out for the subway stations when they are finished in 2014.  EUPAN is certainly interested in submitting an attractive bid to further expand its commercial activities in Panama.

Below is a picture of the bus stop structure built by EUPAN.  They have been strategically located within Panama City, and of course at the Cinta Costera.  Here we go.

Bus stop waiting stations at the Cinta Costera and other sites in Panama City. They started building them since 2001 during the administration of then Mayor of the Municipality of Panama, Juan Carlos Navarro. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

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Some elected officials are remembered for a long time after their period is over and many others are forgotten as soon as they ride and fade into the sunset.  The previous Mayor of Panama City, Mr. Juan Carlos Navarro, will be remembered for  providing the city with the most clean and modern bus stations ever.

While he was Mayor (he served two terms), he was able to come up with a deal to build hundreds of new bus stations to accommodate waiting passengers.  They were excellent as a shade to protect the citizens from the blazing sun during the summer months and as shelters against pouring rains during the rest of the year.

According to a contract signed by Panama City Hall and an European company, the structures would be built free of charge to the Municipality of Panama.  The building company would recover its investment by placing ads within the perimeter of the bus stations.  Other parties would be restricted of placing ads within a certain distance of the bus stations.  Of course these ads are sold at very profitable prices.

It’s also the responsibility of the operating company to place garbage cans in all the stations and for the overall physical conditions of the structures.  Up to this day, the bus stations are in top shape.  Every time a station is damaged  for whatever reason, they are repaired immediately.  It is a win-win situation for everybody.

Below are several pictures of the bus stations introduced during the administration of former Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro:

Photograph of a bus station built during the administration of Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Take notice of ads placed at the bus station according to the deal with the Municipality of Panama City, Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Another view of a bus station if Panama. Notice how clean and well kept the structures are. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

With this high quality bus stations strategically located throughout the city and a new fleet of modern buses equipped with adequate air condition units, Panama is on its way to become a First World country.  The next big leap is the construction of a subway three years from now.  Now that’s a giant step forward.  Good Day.

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