multiplazaparking

How To Combat Multiplaza Parking Fees

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.

multiplaza parking meterThe 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.

Carpool: If you are going to the Mall with a group of friends pick everyone up on the way and go in one car. Then you could either split the parking fee or take turns paying it.

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 hola@ptylife.com with your starting destination and I would be happy to tell you how to get to Multiplaza using the Metro Bus.

Taxi: Unless you are planning on spending more than 6 hours at the mall a taxi wouldn’t save much money in place of taking a car since it’s $2-3 for a taxi ride within the city.

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.

What do you think? Will charging for parking make more spots available or will the mall loose business to people choosing malls that offer free parking?



There are 19 comments

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  1. Esther Jiménez

    I planned to buy a bike, but drivers are crazy here. I once rode from V­a Brasil to Plaza New York, bad idea… I was almost hit by cars like 3 times and I was on the road side (the rules say I can ride on the street as any other car but drivers won't allow that). Furthermore, with all the rain we have here, having motorcycles or bikes is a little awkward, I prefer to walk if the place is near, use the car when is far or go by metro bus when there's traffic (I don't like to ride with traffic).

  2. Jose David Reyna

    Francisco Martins I used to do a lot of bicycling since I was a little kid. In my life, I've had about 3 bicylces. Guess how i lost each one of my bicycles? All of them I lost to thieves.

    I was 17 years old when I got my first bike, in 1995. It only lasted for 1 year before some thieves attacked me and a friend. My friend gave his bike but since I refused to give mine to the thieves, they both punched me in the face until I was in the ground, so they would take it from me.

    My last bike, which I had for about 8 years, simply just disappeared from behind my car along with its racks (in 2008). After that, I decided that I was never going to buy me another bike anymore. I'm just sick of them criminals out there. It's so sad though, I really do miss cycling.

    Unfortunately in Panama, bicycles make robbers tick.

  3. Jose Fernando Salazar

    Did u consider how hot and humid Panama is? Besides, how stupid we Panamanians are when driving a car? I think bike trails with roofed rest areas should be incorporated into Panama City.

  4. Monica Pereira Giannareas

    I hope this campaign make people realize that using bikes is another alternative. I am a Panamanian but I live in the US and there's nothing I love more than riding my bike from point A to point B. You save time and money…but there's a long way to go in Panama regarding the use of bikes as an alternative to public transportation.

  5. Vanessa de Karamañites

    Thanks for your suggestions. In my case, I used to go to that mall to the movies. Due the real big rows to buy a ricket, I just moved to Cinemark at Multicentro, with a free parking. I will never spend more than one hour or two in a mall, but I know people who can eat their 3 meals inthere. Good luck for them…

  6. Maruquel Staab

    Offer/demand. Let them charge whatever they want. People will pay the price if they really want to shop there. In a free society the market has the last word.

  7. Joey Bonura

    Hey Francisco, Good suggestion! I originally didn't include biking as a way of getting there because Multiplaza doesn't have any official places to lock a bike up. I'll update the article with your suggestion.

  8. Francisco Martins

    Ricardo G. Rubio, that´s how things start to change: people using bicycles and somehow conquering their own room and respect. Check for the FB page of MCCPanama – Movimiento de Ciclistas en las Calles de Panam¡, they are getting excellent results as the signature of a pact towards mobility (and urban cyclists´rights) by the main three candidates to the Municipality. How do you think that things happened in San Francisco, London, and other cities? Join them and be part of the changing process.

  9. Francisco Martins

    You just forgot one more tip, and perhaps, the most efficient one: go bicycling and park at the first floor, just in front of Samsung, where there is a fence where you can use a chain to keep your bike safe.

  10. Joey Bonura

    Hey Bob I was referring to the new parking garage that was added near the new section of the mall. I don't believe there is room for anymore parking spaces after that


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