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THE EMT (Municipal Transport Company) will distribute new smart cards next year, to replace the citizen's card (tarjeta ciudadana ).
But before that it will have to spend more than one million euros in adapting the machines on the buses which read the cards and providing more points where the cards can be recharged. The new cards will have a chip which will lead to improvements in “upkeep, security and the validity of the system” according to Alvaro Gijon, the councillor in charge of transport. He added that the new system would be faster, and would help improve the frequency of the buses, which are often held up because of problems with the machines which read the existing tarjetas. He explained that test runs with the new cards and machines would start in May and for a period of two months, the buses will accept the two types of cards. At present, 18 million of the EMT's 32 million passengers use the cards (which cuts fares by half) and the new cards will offer other services.