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TCRP Synthesis 22: Transit Advertising Revenue: Traditional and New Sources and Structures

Offers information on the advertising environment on transit property and agency experiences with innovative revenue-generating practices

Reacting to funding cutbacks and increasing revenue needs, many transit agencies are looking at increasing the amount and kinds of advertising that they permit on transit facilities and equipment as a way to raise additional revenue. The search for new dollars came at the same time that marketing experts were looking for new ways to carry their messages to consumer audiences outside the home. The term "out-of-home" media means literally whatever carries advertising messages to the consumer outside of the home--not print and television ads. It includes everything from billboards and posters to displays on transit vehicles, on shelters, in stations, airports, shopping malls, sports arenas and supermarkets. The history of
billboards in this country spans a century with advocates pointing to a proud tradition of providing consumers with valuable information about everything from gas and lodging to other necessary services. Detractors point to the proliferation of signs and the "blight" of billboards. The battle raged for years and culminated in the mid 1960s with passage of national legislation limiting highway billboards.