Sep 21, 2010 at 11:17 PM
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San Fran's B.A.R.T. to Consider Station Naming Rights

On Thursday, the BART Board of Directors will consider revenue-generating proposals that would use space in and around trains for new advertising opportunities. The goal of the new initiative is to in part offset a projected $7.5 billion capital funding deficit the city is expected to face over the next 30 years.

BART, which already sells outdoor media through a firm, Titan Advertising, brought in more than $6 million in revenue in 2009 via limited advertising on trains and on the walls of stations. Thursday's proposal will vastly expand the reach of advertising and promotions within BART. This would be in line with the recent moves of some other transit agencies throughout the nation, which have used electronic video ads on trains and in stations, naming rights to stations, billboards on rights-of-way and massive advertising wrap-arounds on trains. Last year, New York City's M.T.A. approved a $4 million deal to rename a Brooklyn subway stop after the British bank, Barclays. The deal will go into effect in 2012.

BART says it will be looking at the pros and the cons of these new potential advertising revenue sources, in a statement saying this:

"The benefits include generating revenue to help offset rider costs for running the system, and providing some entertainment and BART news and information for riders if video screens were installed – catching sports scores or news headlines could make a ride more interesting, even with some ads mixed in. Drawbacks could include aesthetic impacts, and some riders’ preferences not to be exposed to more advertising."

The five primary advertising concepts to be considered will be:

  • Station information monitors
  • Train information monitors
  • Station co-naming rights
  • Right of way opportunities
  • Train exterior opportunities

    Next steps in the process, depending on guidance from the Board, will be to identify resources needed to carry out a plan; soliciting proposals; returning to the Board for approval; and a testing and evaluation period to confirm the viability and customer reaction.