Friday, January 5, 2007

Dayton ditches bus advertisments

Dayton OH - The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA) will be ditching advertising on its buses according to a news story in the Dayton Business Journal.

Bucking the trend of ad wrapped buses that have been appearing across transit systems all across North America, the GDRTA has determined that the revenue generated for having buses wrapped up as a rolling burrito and other advertisements is minuscule to its overall budget.

The GDRTA wants to make it's buses more appealing to ridership by having a uniform fleet color and a clean appearance. Advertising, including standard exterior board type ads, detract from the appearance.

One thing I found interesting from reading the article is that the GDRTA repaints its buses after an ad wrap is removed. Unlike my local transit system in Pittsburgh which rips the ad wrap off and sends the bus back out in service with the adhesive still applied to the bus so road dirt and even litter will stick to it (at least where it didn't rip the paint off with it), the GDRTA realizes that a clean appearance is important to making public transit appealing to the public.

A clean and uniform livery for the fleet is a good method to make a transit system more appealing. Psychologically, it tells people that you have a system that works and is well ordered. When you have a variety of fleet liveries with various ads slapped on them, it subconsciously transmits that the system is messed up and doesn't know what it is doing.

I will be watching how the GDRTA does without bus advertising. I like seeing buses without ads slapped all over them but I realize that advertising is an important part of the revenue stream for many operations.

The GDRTA earns itself a Laurel for understanding that a uniform fleet appearance will do more to attract ridership than a rolling burrito will.

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