THIS coming year, Palma City Council will increase ORA (restricted parking) charges applied in the old part of the city and the outskirts. Tariffs will go up by an average of 22 and 34 percent, respectively. The cost of parking in blue zones in market areas, however, will come down by 6 percent. Speaking after a city council committee meeting yesterday, Traffic and Transport councillor, Alvaro Gijón, said that the rise in ORA charges will be accompanied by a change in the system of payment for underground carparking in the city which will charge for every fifteen minutes, instead of for every hour. This will mean lower costs for the customer.
Although a five percent increase has been applied to underground car parks areas from 2004 onwards, the rise in tariff will be compensated by the new system of charging, assured Gijón. He explained that an increase of 10 cents had been planned for the city bus service (EMT) as well as on the tourist bus service.
However, the cost of journeys that are paid for with the Citizen's Card (Tarjeta Ciudadana) will be maintained, as will the 10-trips bus clipper card that can be purchased to cover any of Palma's municipal routes. Gijón argued that the increase was planned to encourage the use of the Citizen's Card or the 10-trips card so that drivers didn't have to waste time carrying out individual cash transactions with customers. Travellers with cards simply have to have them punched by an automatic machine on entering the bus. Gijón added that the new underground carparks were designed to provide an alternative to ORA parking and make parking easier for residents.
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