Joan Collins
THE Palma city council are in the process of introducing a new swipe card version of its citizen card, which gives residents cheaper travel.
The pilot scheme, being tried on the University route (19), will last for a period of 45 days, with the aim of testing whether the new card works well and if it can be introduced on other routes. Present at the presentation of the new card, which took place on the Balearic University (UIB), were the President of the EMT (municipal bus company), Alvaro Gijon, and the Vice chancellor of the University, Avelli Blasco. Gijon said that 1'000 of the cards will be delivered to university students, with 20 euros credit.
Blasco thanked the EMT for starting this initiative in the UIB. “It is a form of promoting public transport”, he said.
Gijon, for his part, said that the new card will reduce fraud and save on maintenance costs, in addition to reducing the time for reading it. He also said, on a humourous note, that this new card cannot be copied as UIB students had tried tod do with the existing one. Gijon went on to say that, in principal, the new card would be in operation on all EMT routes from October.
The current citizens card will be able to be used until December this year, and during a period of three months you will be able to pay by either card on all routes. However, from January 2007, it will only be possible to pay with the new card. Gijon also said the the company Panini will run the crediting service for the new cards, which will be able to be credited in more than 200 places in Palma and in more than 400 places throughout the island. Gijon added that, to get a new card, citizens should fill in a form with their personal details which they could later take to the EMT offices or council administration offices or send by email.

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