by Irene Taylor
THE Palma city council has launched a new ORA (restricted parking) card, so that drivers can pay for parking in a blue zone without having to use coins. The new smart cards can be recharged in the parking meters, with a minimum of three and a maximum of 50 euros.
Carlos Veramendi, head of the council's traffic department, demonstrated how the cards worked yesterday.
He said that the card can be obtained free of charge from the ORA traffic wardens, and can be used in the 298 machines in Palma's 60 blue zones.
Veramendi said that 10'000 cards have been prepared, although he added that people can continue to use the tarjeta ciudadana or citizen's card as they have done up to now. A major information campaign has been launched, involving the distribution of 75'000 brochures, while for the next six days, five pairs of patrolling agents will provide information. Explanations as to how the scheme works have also been attached to all the parking meters.
Deputy Mayor Pedro Alvarez said that the new ORA card and the citizen's card both work with microchips, but a new system without chips is now being developed, although he could not specify when this would come into service.

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