Smart cards for Torrevieja’s Bus System

One of the unique aspects of being a resident of Torrevieja is that the city offers a free bus service for one and all ….if you are on the padron. However, the system has been widely abused, mainly by those who just visit on holiday, sign on the Padron, then sign off again but not until they have the correct documentation for their free buss pass! The abuse of the system has been costing the Town Hall hundreds of thousands of euros over the years! All that will change from the end of the month as Torrevieja introduces a new ‘smart’ card for the Bus System.

From September 1, 2011, anyone legitimately on the Municipal Padron can use their new Urban Public Transport Cards. The major change from the former system is that there is a cost involved. The new card will cost only €35 annually, in essence the amount the Town Hall pays to cover production and management costs but thereof it will entitle all registered citizens of Torrevieja free urban transport, 365 days a Year. For those doing their sums, at €1.20 a journey, you need to make at least 30 trips per year to break even, or 15 days return travel, into and out of, the city!

But not only is the card for Transportation as it is indeed a Smart Card offering more than one function. Torrevieja’s Mayor Eduardo Dolon said that the cards will be available from next Tuesday, August 16, when they will begin issuing the new cards from the new facilities of the Municipal Transport Department which are now located in Torrevieja’s Old Town Hall. The mayor said that the only requirements to be the recipient of the Citizen Card are:

1) Present the receipt of the bank’s payment of 35 euros.
2) ID or present Bus Pass.
3) be registered on Torrevieja’s Municipal Padron.

The introduction of this new computerized card will allow the City Council of Torrevieja extensive information on the use of the service, and in particular, the various lines and routes used in the city, which in the near future, these statistics will be used towards adapting and optimizing the transport service based on user demand. Eduardo Dolon said that the Card will be multi-purpose as it will also incorporate Torrevieja’s Citizen Card that will gradually allow holders access to other municipal services such as entry to the Municipal Leisure Centre (BMC) or Macrodiscoteca, sports and educational facilities, the various museums and library. It will ultimately also be linked into the large screen terminals found in all of Torrevieja’s public buildings and allow printed documentation to be accessed through these tactical computer screens.

Being a ‘Smart Card’ they may also be ‘turned off’, thus when a user signs off the Municipal Padron! The main computer system will have the ability to recognize this fact, and thus inform bus drivers that the card is no longer valid, helping put an end to the abuse that the system has suffered from in the past! €35, a small price to pay for the bus system in Torrevieja, especially as parking is at a premium in the city centre. Available from August 16, from the Old Town Hall in the main Square.

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