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The "Red Devil`s of Panama City. Really just the bus system, but after experiencing the driving it is quite easy to see why the nickname of "Red Devil`s" has stuck. Quite fast, colorful and very, very different. This actually took quite a time to get used to, especially with the amount of people that use them and the noise which was louder than we experience back home. We, during our stay, actually never did use the service, but at 25 cents for a ride you could see why so many Panamanians did. Most of the buses are apparently privately owned and the cartoon characters and bright colours stand out. The taxi system, while still mostly private, was a service that we used extensively and the cost was very, very reasonable from a North American viewpoint.
Never did get up the nerve to go on a ride on one of these buses. They just did not convey the thought of safety, but I was impressed by the capability of the drivers who sped thru the main streets weaving in and out of heavy traffic. Most had a conductor ( or a helper ) who got out at various stops to help get passengers on board and likely to collect fares. The paintings, colors and noise provided for entertainment value but one would not expect it to be friendly to the environment. Found myself forever looking for the more colorful ones with comic cartoon drawings.