CTA to Begin Testing of New Bus Digital Advertising Display Board

September 22, 2008

New initiative is expected to generate $101 Million in revenue over next 10 years

Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman unveiled the first piece of the CTA's digital communications network - a new digital advertising display board mounted on the curb-side of an in-service bus. The CTA will test the durability and power consumption of the digital display board on one of its buses operating along the #124 Navy Pier route for a six-week pilot. With the addition of this latest advertising medium, the CTA is expected to generate approximately $101 million over ten years.

The testing of the digital advertising display board is the first phase of implementation of a new digital communications network. In April 2008, the Chicago Transit Board authorized a 10-year contract for Titan Outdoor to sell digital advertising on CTA buses and across the rail system. Under the agreement, Titan will be responsible for the purchase, installation, maintenance and repair of more than 1,500 digital display boards installed on 100 buses and at all 144 rail stations.

"In these tough economic times, this new initiative with Titan is a valuable new source of revenue for the agency. But just as importantly, it will create an additional channel of communication to our customers," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "In the event of an emergency, the CTA will have the ability to use the digital display boards on buses and in rail stations to provide customers with information for their commutes."

Upon completion of installation, the digital displays at rail stations and on buses will be fully integrated with CTA's Control Center and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). During an emergency, CTA will be able to override advertisements and post emergency information or real-time service updates. By the end of year, the CTA will launch a pilot rail station with digital sign and next train arrival information.

A total of 100 buses will be equipped with digital advertising display boards, which will only be installed on the curb-side of buses. Installation of the bus digital display boards is expected to begin in mid-December. The CTA is currently assessing which bus routes will feature the digital display boards. Bus routes that include traveling along expressways, highways or Lake Shore Drive will not be considered.

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