« prague and san francisco: on communist vs capitalist modernism | Main | berlin: the s-bahn meltdown »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


No. It implies that the quality of experience of transit passengers is less important than the chance to make a buck from a passing pedestrian.


Wraps are not a good idea at all.
One of the advantages of public transport is the possibility of see the city trough its windows: when a city puts bus wraps (or even worst, eye-height advertising on windows), it makes its buses a lot less comfortable!


Bus windows are usually scratched and dirty enough as they are without advertising blocking the view. From the outside, I have the somewhat mixed feeling of not really wanting to see big advertisements driving around, but those are the only buses that are clean and shiny and colorful, plus the wraps are usually nicer advertisements than the advertising signs on the sides and back of the unwrapped buses, which are mostly car insurance for people who have severe car insurance issues (I always thought an SR22 was an airplane from Cirrus), or don't-beat-your-children public service announcements.


Transit advertising has been a sore spot in Toronto for a while now amongst public space advocates, who pointed out a couple of years ago that advertising makes up such a small portion of the TTC's revenue that the TTC could go ad-free and only require a 5-cent fare increase to make up the difference.

According to the TTC's 2007 annual report (PDF), advertising revenue made up $16.6-million in 2007, compared to passenger fares totalling $778-million and total operating expenses of about $1.2-billion. The ad revenue includes traditional advertising (ad panels inside and on buses, streetcars and subway trains, and in subway stations), and also includes revenue from wrapped buses and streetcars and "station domination" campaigns (all advertising panels in a station relate to a single advertiser, plus there are vinyl wraps on some columns, walls, and sometimes the floor). We can't tell from these numbers exactly how much of an impact wraps had on revenues, but I think it is fair to deduce that it is a relatively small component.

I'm sure other transit agencies must post financial statements online, to see if advertising revenues are more significant in other places. I have heard TTC officials quoted as saying that they are generally in line with other cities but haven't seen any data either way.

Mad Park

Wraps degrade the transport experience, compromise safety and look crass. Windows should never be covered and we should insist on buses with rear windows as well.


Some wraps look cool from the outside, but inside, they do indeed suck balls.

Peter Parker

As well as the aesthetics and intangibles regarding 'image' that others above have mentioned, wraps should never be done on any public transport vehicle that operates after dark for the following reasons:

* Passengers need to be able to see out to find their stop in the dark if travelling on an unfamiliar route. This means being able to identify street signs, buildings etc. Wrapping (especially if combined with too much bright lights inside the vehicle) prevents this visibilty.

* The perception of safety is improved if there is visibility from outside in and vice versa (not that someone outside can do much about a incident happening inside a moving tram, but transparency still improves the perception of safety, especially given that new trams lock the driver away in a seperate compartment).


This route in Berlin is especially unworthy of wrapped buses. Routes 200 (pictured) and 100 are specifically designated as tourist routes -- the 100 even has an audio guide one can download from the BVG's website, www.bvg.de. It's a shame these buses are wrapped, especially given the new high-quality, comfortable vehicles being used by the BVG.

Mary Newsom

This interesting topic got a link from a comment on my blog (www.marynewsom.blogspot.com) in Charlotte, NC, where the transit agency on 9/22 voted to begin allowing ads on bus exteriors. They didn't specify that wraps were excluded, although there was some question about how many companies would have the $$ to do that, and that smaller ads provide more advertising opportunities for smaller businesses.

The website for the MTA in New York City says it does accept exterior ads for buses. http://www.mta.info/mta/realestate/ad_tele.html

The comments to this entry are closed.

the firm

Jarrett is now in ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...