Multiplaza Mall has added 100’s of additional parking spots to Panama City’s most high-end shopping center and while it’s always been free to park there, that will be coming to an end soon. The mall administration has just announced that they will start to charge for parking in the third week of May.
The first hour will be free, the 2nd and 3rd hour will be .02 cents a minute, the 4th and 5th hour will be .03 cents a minute, the 6th and 7th hour will be .04 cents a minute, and the 8th hour and up will be .06 cents a minute. People who go to the movies will have three hours free with a validated ticket.
Taking into account the free hour and change in rates as hours increase, here is a sample of what you can expect to pay:
1 hour: Free
2 hours: $1.20
3 hours: $2.40
4 hours: $4.20
5 hours: $6
6 hours: $8.40
7 hours: $10.80
8 hours: $14.40
9 hours: $18.00
10 hours: GO HOME!!
The rates are pretty reasonable for the first three hours of a typical shopping day but after that people will need to rethink if it’s worth it to spend more time at the mall or choose a different mall to spend the entire day at.
I have heard a lot of uproar about the new parking charges but I also hear a lot of complaints about there not being any parking at the mall. Multiplaza has added a ton of parking over the past year and it doesn’t appear there is space to add additional parking so they needed to do something.
And if you don’t want to pay the new parking charges here are a few ways to combat them:
Walk: There are way too many people that live in San Francisco and Punta Pacifica that could walk 10 – 15 minutes to Multiplaza but instead choose to drive their Hyundai Tucson and take up parking for the people that do not live within walking distance. Panama does not have a walking culture but that doesn’t mean you can’t start one.
Metro Bus: It’s very easy to get to Multiplaza using the Metro Bus. You can either hop on any bus that says Panama Viejo (these run from Panama Viejo to Via Israel to Avenida Balboa) and recently all of the busses on Calle 50 that say Via España make a quick pitstop at Multiplaza before getting on Via España. The cost of using the Metro Bus is .25 cents a ride so your round trip cost will be a mere .50 cents. Send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with your starting destination and I would be happy to tell you how to get to Multiplaza using the Metro Bus.
Bike: If you have a bicycle you can ride it there and park on the first floor in front of Torre de Las Americas and lock your bike to the fence. Hopefully Multiplaza will take the initiative to add real place to chain your bike if more people start to use them.