More Money Through Advertising

Nick’s post here yesterday (nice first post, btw!) got me thinking about advertising dollars. Only 2% of Metro’s buses are wrapped, yet that generates $1 mn per year. It stands to figure if 100% were wrapped, $50 million could be raised. That would be about 12% of Metro’s $400 million or so budget. I know we’re not the only ones who are for more ads in transit here, that this for example.

We need to generate more money through advertising. Ride the London Underground and you see a ton of advertising. Metro and Sound Transit buses have very little advertising, or space for it. Much of the advertising is of the non-profit type, and targets the very demographic Thatcher believes rides buses: the down and out, drug addicted, unemployed. Surely someone would like to try to sell me something through paid advertising. Even those that can barely afford such things stand in line to buy iPods and iPhones.

Here’s some ideas about ads that could be in train stations. Outside of bus shelters, bus wrappings and trains stations, what are other advertising possibilities?

More on the 520 Mediators

This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

They’re going to have a pretty narrow mandate:

Recent legislation requires mediators to focus solely on the most contested and complicated stretch of 520 — the section between the bridge’s western high-rise and Interstate 5. The more narrow focus should help avoid reopening a Pandora’s box of politically, financially or technically unfeasible ideas that have been discarded, Conlin said.

A four-lane “green alternative” and the Eastside Transportation Association-backed eight-lane alternative from Montlake to Redmond, for example, are off the table.

The legislation also mandates a six-lane bridge with four general-purpose and two HOV lanes, said Tom Fitzsimmons, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s chief of staff. “There may be a smaller footprint than six lanes going through Montlake, for example, but the corridor needs to accommodate four plus two,” he said.

This should keep the process relatively manageable.

Bus Wraps: All Wrapped Up?

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.