A new solution to commute through Panama City traffic

During weekdays Panama City experiences an enormous amount of traffic. Rush hours are mainly between 7 AM – 9 AM, 11 AM – 1 PM, and 5 PM – 7 PM, which in some cases makes you spend a significant amount of time stuck in traffic over short distances.

In general, people commute through the city in a car, motorbike or public transportation (which includes a metro). Besides, apps such as Uber and Cabify have been a huge gamechanger on price, safety, and easiness. 

A new way of commuting through the city.

Since March 2020 there is a new way to commute through Panama City, which is by electric scooter. Electric Scooters have already been spotted before in large European and American cities, and can now be found in the Panama City banking area and its surroundings. These electric scooters are part of the fleet of an app named “Bird”, and are provided by a partner operator in Panama under the name “Chiva”. 

How can I rent an electric scooter?

The user installs the Bird app via their phone, on which all available scooters nearby are displayed (tracked by GPS). Before starting a trip, the user provides their payment information, in Panama, you have to submit your credit card information. The user then scans the QR code on the scooter. To end the trip, the user must take a photo of the parked scooter via the app. The price of the trip is immediately withdrawn from the user’s credit card. If any problems were encountered with the trip (like a malfunctioning vehicle) the user can report it directly through the app. You will need an internet connection on your device (data plan) to start a trip. 

What are the costs?

Generally, the price is $1 to unlock the scooter, then $0.15 per minute. At this moment the price per minute in Panama is $0.25, which is expected to go down to $0.15/minute accordingly. 

Operating area and hours in Panama City

On the Bird app, the user can see the operating area of the service and also view a tutorial on how to use the scooter.[22] Riding outside of the operating area is tolerated, but if the user leaves the scooter outside the operating area, they will be charged a fee. The fee changes based on the location. On the map, there are various red zones, in which users are prohibited to park. The operating hours in which you can rent a scooter in Panama City are 6 AM – 11 PM. 

Can I rent a scooter right now?

Yes, as written above you only have to install the Bird app, create your profile and submit your credit card. Anyone can register and use the app. Use the invitation code “JY0J9G” to receive your first ride for free (up to $5). 

Rent your electric scooter and ride over Avenida Balboa to Amador. Explore Panama City in a new and fun way, at your own pace. 

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