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Ads coming to FareCards in January 2011

A sample FareCard with the new ads.

In case you haven’t heard, this was announced yesterday: there will be small ads on the monthly FareCards starting in January 2011.

Check out the press release [1] for more information—below I have a short excerpt.

TransLink is partnering with Let’s Bus It [2], a Victoria-based firm that specializes in advertisements on public transportation, to include ads on the front of the FareCards.

“Transit advertising is an area that makes money for TransLink,” says John Beaudoin, TransLink’s Director of Customer Engagement and Marketing, “and helps reduce the need to increase revenue in other areas, like fares.” Advertising on buses and SkyTrain already brings in about $9 million per year for TransLink, which could finance close to $90 million in new transit capital or pay for about 82,000 hours of bus service.

The ad takes up just under one half of face of the FareCard, with information such as the number of zones, purchase price and the month for which the card is valid still plainly displayed. The terms and conditions and the space for writing the owner’s name – in accordance with the requirements of the federal Transit Pass Tax Credit – are unchanged on the reverse.

In exchange for placing ads on FareCards, Let’s Bus It is guaranteeing TransLink a minimum of $84,000 per year. The concept has proven popular with advertisers in other regions where Let’s Bus It operates – including Victoria, Nanaimo, Brandon Manitoba and New Orleans, Louisiana – and the ad space is already sold out for the first six months in Metro Vancouver.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as always!