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Digital screens show animated ads on the side of your bus

Digital screens show animated ads on the side of your bus

Have you seen big TV screens showing moving ads on the sides of some buses?

You’re not seeing things. Ten buses are currently roaming Vancouver with these new LED ad screens! And since more people are noticing them lately, I thought I’d do a post explaining them.

The screens are a just another way to show ads on our system, and right now, 10 diesel buses have them—all New Flyer 7200 series vehicles driving out of Vancouver Transit Centre.

We’re expanding to 10 buses after testing out one LED screen on a bus in a two-month pilot project last November.

The pilot looked to see if the screens would disrupt traffic or if there were any other concerns to know about. However, the pilot received positive feedback overall, and oddly enough, no negative responses.

Other drivers didn’t report any issues – perhaps because the screens are on the curbside of the bus, and buses generally drive in the curbside lane.

The LED ad screens on 10 Vancouver buses can show animated ads, like this Olympic promotion.
The LED ad screens on 10 Vancouver buses can show animated ads, like this Olympic promotion.

Transit operators also found there was little to no distraction from the external light being generated on the curbside of the vehicle. What we did hear was that the extra light was actually useful in the dark to help see the edge of the curb.

Plus on the technical side, the pilot showed us that installation on trolleys is considerably more complex than for diesel vehicles, so that’s why these LED screens are on diesel buses.

These 10 LED screens are part of a larger rollout: we’re planning to have more screens on the buses by the end of 2010. Beyond that, however, it remains to be seen. The physical and financial performance of the first 10 LEDs will help guide our decisions.

So far, though, the new LED screens are attracting interest from a number of existing and potentially new clients. But really, any new advertising media that can “break through” to customers will be attractive!

(By the way, if you’re curious, TransLink revenues from advertising are at minimum $7 million a year, so using technologies like this could possibly help boost our income. For more info, there’s a great Vancouver Courier article that explains our partnership with Lamar Transit Advertising and the revenues we generate.)