It appears the wrapped buses are going to be going through some changes in the future according to a news release from King County. Full bus wraps have been responsible for generating much needed revenue for Metro. This has come at a price to the riders of these buses. People who ride can’t see street signs or buildings, and if dark outside it is impossible to see anything causing people much frustration. The wraps are currently on 25 buses which is less than 2% of Metro’s fleet. If Metro completely phased out the wraps that would result in a loss of $743,000 in 2008. So Metro came up with a new partial wrap that will allow wrapping to only a portion of the window plus the rest of the bus.
From Ron Simms:
Metro would be the first transit agency in the country to offer this type of partial-wrap to advertisers. Metro believes the new partial wrap advertising option can generate interest from national and local clients to advertise on Metro’s fleet and become a model for other transit agencies to follow“.
They will allow these partial wraps on 50 buses and may generate $450,000-$900,000 in revenue.
This is good for Metro and it seems it will be good for the passengers as well. Although I am not a fan of the green/purple and gold color schemes, it is eye catching to see the wrapped buses from the outside. I truly dislike being in them, especially on a sunny day. One difference that was pointed out to me was that in places like San Francisco and Vancouver B.C. (which I visited recently) they have advertisements at bus shelters. There are many bus stops in downtown Seattle where many passengers get on/off buses. It seems that they could gain additional revenue by adding panels to these stops. Metro could even charge premium rates for higher volume stops.

7 Replies to “Bus Wraps: All Wrapped Up?”

  1. I’m not sure I’d want a bunch of ads at downtown bus stops. It’s great that the bus tunnel has zero advertising, although I’ve often wondered why no advertising exists there. I’ve read that the light rail stations will apparently be full of ads. Will ads also appear in the tunnel someday?

  2. BART gets 15% of it’s revenue from ads.

    In Japan, trains are fullllll of ads. People here might hate it, but it’s good for transit, and its easy dollars.

  3. I believe I read at some point that there’s some sort of City ordinance that prevents Metro from having ads at bus stops.

  4. well, we need to change the ordinance, then! i would want a bunch of ads at downtown bus stops–not because i like ads (i don’t really, but they don’t bother me either) but because we need REVENUE for more transit! this city/region spends too much time with its panties in a bunch trying to pretend it’s a sleepy little town like spokane and not enough time and energy dealign with the growth that will continue to happen regardless.

  5. I personally hate the ad bombardment. Call me a true-green Seattleite.

    However, I do agree with the needed revenue. Most of the wraps (with the exception of the iPod) have been easy on the eyes.

    I’ll give into the ads for boosted revenue, in so far as they’re tasteful and not painful to see. So far so good.

    Just take a page from Las Vegas’ transit and do the exact opposite.

    Also, BART can get 15% because of the high levels of population, so it’s not necessarily the amount of ads, but their worth in that case.

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