BART eyes sponsorships to boost revenue

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The BART staff on Wednesday presented a plan to the transit agency's board that laid out several ways the agency can raise new revenue by expanding the use of advertising on BART assets.

If approved, the proposal would place third-party advertising on BART kiosks, phone charging stations,other transit station displays and even on BART cars themselves, a move transit agency officials say could generate several thousands of dollars a year for the agency.

Rider Kelly King said at first blush the idea seems like a good plan but she wants to hear more specifics.

"I think that might be good," she said. "But I don't know how it would work."

Other ideas include wrapping BART trains with advertisements and turning them into rolling billboards, an idea that could potentially generate up to $1.5 million a year.

"We see stadiums being sponsored (so) I don't see it being a problem," said BART rider Michelle Korbas.

Another idea presented to the BART board includes outside sponsorship of BART stations. For example, the Montgomery Station could be sponsored by E*Trade, Citigroup or McDonald's.

Officials said this approach could generate up to $750,000 a year.

Said Joanna Collins: "Then BART would have to put some monies aside to make sure there was some police protection and that the BART trains and that station we're clean at all times."

Bevan Dufty, a new BART board member, who was a former San Francisco Supervisor, said he is fine with train wraps but does not like the idea of station sponsorships.

"I've got no appetite for that," she said, referencing a $3.5 billion bond referendum approved by voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. "I think we don't need to do it."

By KTVU reporter Tom Vacar.

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