Could Casco Viejo see the come back of it’s once cherished Tram? The streets have not seen the Tram since the first half of the 20th century. However, increasing the efficiency of Panama’s public transit system is high among President Martenilli’s priorities.
According the Central American Data, a tram line is being analyzed for inclusion within the Metro project. Such a tram line would both attract tourists and provide transportation to and from Casco Viejo. Government sponsored, this proposal looks to improve the city’s image and touristic experience, with the goal of restoring the “Casco Antiguo” (historic center) as a tourist attraction in Panama.
The tram line would link the recently inaugurated “Cinta Costera” (Coastal Belt) with the “Casco Antiguo”, to finally reach Amador Causeway.
Reinstating the Tram would be an important developmental step for Casco Viejo. It’s former glory days were prior to the advent of the automobile. Providing space for car parking was a non-existent issue for city planners. As a result, there is a lack of available parking spaces. A Tram would limit the need for a car, thereby reducing the demand for parking in Casco Viejo.
Secondly, the Tram would make it easier for residents and tourists to access Casco Viejo. Currently, the only efficient way to go in or out of Casco Viejo is via taxi. Rather than calling a cab, which can become expensive for both locals and foreigners, the Tram would provide a cost effective link between Casco Viejo and downtown Panama City.
Sensing it’s opportunity, Casco Viejo community organization (Avaca) has made the resurrection of the Casco Viejo Tram a central issue. The community organization is advocating that the Martinelli administration make this a priority on its public transportation agenda. Many in the community, including Los Cuatro Tulipanes, feel increasing accessibility is vital for the restoration of Panama’s most dynamic neighborhoods. The Tram would be an another step in the right direction. We look forward to following the debate closely.