‘Blue Zone’ paid parking system goes into effect in Bulgaria’s Varna

After repeated delays, the “blue zone” paid parking system in Bulgaria’s largest Black Sea city Varna went into effect on July 10, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television reported.

This comes after years of attempts by Varna city council to introduce the system, which emulates the one first introduced in capital Sofia and later rolled out in other cities, but was prevented by protracted legal wrangling.

As in many other Bulgarian cities, the central area of Varna has many narrow streets and too many parked cars – the “blue zone” parking area is meant to alleviate the problem and, at the same time, boost the city’s coffers.

Initially, Varna’s “blue zone” starts with 2600 parking spots, including 110 spots for disabled parking, but the city hall plans to later expand the area.

Parking is allowed for three hours and payment can be made using either a short text message or the special mobile app, where users can deposit money in a virtual wallet and use it to pay the parking fee.

For the first three months after the launch of the system, the “blue zone” parking will be free of charge, but motorists who park outside allowed areas or for longer than three hours in a “blue zone” spot would be subject to fines.

As in Sofia, residents in the central area of Varna can purchase a permit to park their cars – which costs five leva a month or 55 leva if paid for a full year, provided they prove that they reside in the area. Businesses can also purchase parking permits for the “blue zone” area for a fee of 150 leva a month for each spot.

The “blue zone” paid parking in Varna is only in effect between 9am and 7pm – outside that time, parking in the “blue zone” spots is free.

(Photo: Vladislav Bezrukov)



The Sofia Globe staff

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