The first Double Tall bus with advertising made its debut in service this week. AAA of Washington bought the ad that occupies the upper half of the double decker bus.
Community Transit made a decision last year to allow advertising on its Double Tall and Swift buses in an effort to raise more revenue. Transit advertising, like other advertising, has taken a nosedive during the recession. Fewer companies are advertising and they are advertising less than before, causing prices to fall for available advertising space.
Titan, our transit advertising vendor, was eager to make available advertising space on our Swift and Double Tall buses.
Swift buses have a unique look and paint scheme that draws attention to those buses, plus they travel frequently up and down the dense Highway 99 corridor for 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of moving billboard time to a high residential, business and auto-driven population.
The Double Talls are another bus type that draw attention because of their look and size. The ad placement on the upper half of the bus is visible above traffic, a desirable commodity. Plus these buses run through downtown Seattle as well as up and down I-5 during morning and evening rush hours, catching the eyes of stuck motorists.
Some of these same factors help Community Transit. People see these buses and want to ride them because they look different, and the characteristics of their service are different. To help keep brand integrity, Community Transit is not allowing advertising on all its Swift or Double Tall buses. At least not yet. We allow advertising on 10 of our 15 Swift buses and 18 of our 23 Double Tall buses.
So far, there have been five ads sold for the Double Talls. You will see the other ad-equipped buses coming out soon. As part of the Buy Local for Transit promotion, Titan is offering a buy one, get one deal on Community Transit bus ad space. Just in case you’re considering…
By the way, speaking of Double Talls, the heating/air conditioning problem we were experiencing on these buses has been fixed. Because the separate HVAC systems on each floor of the buses were not working together, customers were complaining about it being either too hot or too cold on the buses, depending on where they were sitting. We stopped putting new buses on the road until the problem was fixed. The fix came last weekend and this week another three Double Talls have been put into service, bringing to total 18 on the road. The last five of these replacement buses should be out soon.