Getting to and from Nicaragua’s capital city is about to get easier. As recently revealed by Communication and Citizenship Council coordinator Rosario Murillo, the municipal government of Managua has ambitious plans to establish five new intercity bus terminals for public use. Under President Daniel Ortega’s direction, the Mayor of Managua and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure will invest over $50 million into modernizing the transportation hubs in partnership with the private sector.
If all goes according to schedule, the modernization will be underway by early 2017. The first stop slated for renovation is one opposite the Central American University (UCA), which serves over 300 buses and 28,000 passengers, among them university students and daily workers. Soon to follow are the terminals located at the Mayoreo, Roberto Huembes, Oriental, and Israel Lewites Markets.The bus system provides daily service between Managua, Carazo, Masaya, Granada, and other destinations, making it an essential component of a safe and reliable Nicaraguan public transport system.
Although Managua’s Regulatory Institute of Transport director Amaru Ramirez does not anticipate that the city’s investment will necessarily increase the volume of intercity transport, the bus system already mobilizes nearly 1500 public transport vehicles to get passengers to and from Managua. With around 150,000 passengers served by the existing bus terminals, a modernization campaign will have wide-reaching effects for both commerce and simple consumer convenience. Top priorities include upgrading such necessities as ticket offices, banking options, eating areas, and toilets, while ensuring high-quality security. Plans also anticipate the introduction of automated arrival/departure announcement boards and upgraded central audio systems to improve usability, and restaurants, shops, and even ice cream parlors to enhance the experience. Ultimately, the renovation scheme hopes to ensure bus journeys arriving in and departing from Managua that are not only efficient, but also pleasant.
The new bus terminals are just one aspect of a grander plan for infrastructure improvements in Nicaragua, particularly around the capital. As the country has added two new national airports and rebuilt 35 miles of highway in recent years, the government has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving ease of access for its citizens and visitors. Gran Pacifica in particular has benefited, as demonstrated by the newly paved roads connecting the resort to all the amenities and luxuries of Managua – a city that will soon have five shiny new locations from which to hop on a bus.
Though locals will be the most discerning judges of whether the updated transportation hubs will have been a worthwhile use of government funds, the new terminals will certainly improve the quality of the tourist experience as well. Once the renovations are completed, there’s all the more reason to get out to historic Granada or the beaches of San Juan del Sur. With tourism to Nicaragua exploding in recent years, travelers from both near and far will reap the benefits of cleaner, safer stops on their journeys.