The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is operating a ferry service in the province of Colon named “November 5”.
It allows passenger and cargo vehicles to cross the Canal entrance on the Atlantic side. This ferry operates in both directions, increasing safety at the Gatun Locks.
Users do not need to wait for ships to transit and the service is free to the population of the Costa Abajo of Colon province.
The ferry only runs on weekends from 5 a.m. to 12 noon, and is operated by ACP personnel.
It has full firefighting equipment and its maritime safety is fully approved.
The ferry has a capacity of up to 18 normal size vehicles or a combination of buses and trucks with a weight of up to 450 tons of cargo including construction machinery, which is not allowed to move across the bridge at the Gatun locks.
The two terminals to embark and disembark are located east of Davis, and on the west side of the Canal, to allow traffic movement with minimal waiting time.
This modern ferry provides temporary transport north of Gatun Locks until the establishment of a new permanent vehicular crossing. Studies in 2004 chose this ferry as an alternative to solve the situation until the construction of a bridge or tunnel. The bridge was chosen and approved.
Before the implementation of the ferry service, all cars, trucks or cargo passing from one side to the other had to use the small bridge over the Canal in Gatun, sometimes waiting 45 minutes or more for vessels transiting the Canal to clear this area.
The ferry is named “November 5” in tribute to the contribution
of the epic separatist movement mounted in Colon in 1903.