This post is also available in: Spanish
Waiting for a bus can be very frustrating, especially if the schedule is nowhere to be seen. Recently, Mi Bus, operator of Metrobus (Panama’s public transport) together with Google Maps has created an application that can be downloaded to a smartphone which can direct you to the nearest bus stop and tell you at what time the bus is due to arrive.
Google Maps through its transit application forecasts at what time the bus will stop at the nearest bus station as well as recommending what route to take to arrive more quickly at your destination. This system is widely used in Europe, South America and in the most important cities of the United States.
More than the 100 routes of the Metro Bus are shown in the application, which is completely free. Google Transit can be used in mobile gadgets and PC’s and works as an intelligent search agent, based on information about times of travel, waiting and walking in the different routes shown in the system. The user can specify for how long he wants to walk or how many times he wants to change buses to get to his destination.
Alfonso Penedo, manager of Mi Bus said that the tool is going through a trial period, before making an official announcement. Last June, Penedo said that he had shared information with Google Brazil to create the application.
Google’s maps have incorporated the bus system’s 1,045 stops as well as radial routes (Transistmica, Tumba Muerto, Vía España and Balboa Avenue), the expressways (North and South Corridor and Chilibre highway) and the transverse, transfer and feeder routes for the Metro Line 1.
To check your route just visit Google from your computer or your smartphone, select your destination, establish the departing point and select public transport.
Google Maps announced last January that its public transport application is working in 70 countries, 18,000 cities and contains 2.5 million bus stops. Panamá is the first city in Central America to have the Google’s public transport system.