Diablos rojos in peril
PANAMA. Members of the different public transport unions went to the Presidential Palace, to give a letter President Ricardo Martinelli...
PANAMA. Members of the different public transport unions went to the Presidential Palace, to give a letter President Ricardo Martinelli asking what is going to happen t the so called “diablos rojos” (Red Devils) once his Metro project is on operation.
The bus owners and bus drivers were concerned after the Torrijos’s Transmovil project was axed after disagreements exploded between the companies which were bidding for the introduction of new buses and the Transport Authority (ATTT).
A lawsuit from the Users Transport Association alleging that the scheme was illegal finally killed the project. By that time the Torrijos Administration had paid $25,000 to several bus owners to scrap their “diablos rojos”. However, most of them feel that since Martinelli became president they are in limbo.
The president of the National Transpor Chamber CANATRA, Dionisio Ortega said that his organization fears that the Martinelli Administration is going to nationalize the public transport service.
Ortega said that millionaire consortiums want to take over the public transport and nobody has talked about compensation that should be given to bus drivers and owners, once the modernization plan and the Metro is finally created.
Some bus owners are requesting $75,000 in compensation to destroy their vehicles, a figure that it is considered too high because many of the “diablos rojos” are barely road worthy and many are over 20 years old and fit only for scrap.