Mapa de los Diablos Rojos | Panama City Transit Map

Schematic map of Panama City's bus lines

Schematic map of Panama City's bus lines

Here is the next installment in the series of schematic maps I’ve made based on my travels. Panama City’s bus routes are difficult to map for a number of reasons.

First, the city’s layout is not conducive to a diagram based on 45-degree lines. Two geographical constraints, the Canal Zone (in which no development is allowed to protect the watershed that feeds the canal’s locks) and the Bay of Panama, form a 30-degree angle with its vertex in the southwestern historical core of Casco Antiguo. An urbanist study found that the city’s ongoing development follows this 30-degree template, even though the newest settlements are beyond the constraints of Canal Zone’s boundaries. I decided to embrace this 30-degree angle, fundamental to the city’s form, and base my map on the old Stuttgart transit diagram (See the scanned image from the Brian Purcell collectionhere. While such a purely isometric approach was infeasible for my diagram, I was able to achieve it in some areas (such as around the Terminal).

There are only five main bus corridors in the city: The Northern Corridor, Ricardo Alfaro Avenue, Simón Bolívar Avenue, Vía España, and Balboa Avenue. But in the outskirts of the city (and to some extent, around the Terminal), these trunk lines branch out into many different lines. Further complicating things are the various one-way streets and express/direct routing variations. I tried to show these clearly with arrows and black borders, respectively, but things got a little hectic around the Terminal.

Deciding which stops to show was also a question. My previous diagrams were of the countries of Belize and Nicaragua; cities were easy to mark as stops. The Diabjos Rojos, however, stop at nearly any corner when requested, so showing all of the stops was not possible. I decided instead to include the final stops of different routes, as well as the malls and shopping centers that the pavos (turkeys, as the bus conductors are called) tend to shout out when calling passengers.

Related Posts:

Transmetro – BRT in Guatemala City

Belize Transit Map
Belize Transportation Map – Subway Style

Nicaragua Transit Diagram
Nicaragua Transit Diagram

Schematic map of daladala routes in Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam Transit Diagram


  1. […] el día andando por Avenida Balboa en su ruta para Panamá Viejo (mira la linea roja en el mapa que yo […]

  2. Michael Cohen says:

    A masterful job. Where on earth did you get the basic data to make this schematic?

    I was in Panama City and was unable to find any bus line maps. The locals are also confused by the system, its routes and schedule changes. I was trying to get to Tocumen airport. A local woman and I were informed by a driver that our routes changed at night and we would have to take a bus back to Albrook, the main station, and pick up our buses there.

    The buses in Panama City are fast, air conditioned and cost a quarter. They are great though mysterious.

  3. Karim Esquivel says:

    this is almost a decade old and stuff but as a local i just want to say commend u in the monumental effort this should have taken, a one of a kind piece of info of a defunct system
    thank you

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