<body> Public Ad Campaign: MTA Plans & Innovation
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MTA Plans & Innovation

Plans are underway for a whole lot more than the new subway car wraps. (AAA read/write city argument) If the public doesn't make a judgment call soon your entire public life will be one advertising experience after another starting with your commute.

MTA Explores Innovative Advertising Platforms to Increase Revenue

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Sander today announced a series of innovative advertising strategies to increase revenue generated by ads in the MTA's transit system. Sander was joined by History's™ Senior Vice President, Marketing, Chris Moseley, in unveiling the centerpiece of the initiative, the first fully-wrapped MTA NYC Transit subway car. Three cars will be fully-wrapped, inside and out, with a promotion for History's™ television series "Cities of the Underworld" for the month of October.

"We have had tremendous success growing our advertising revenue over the past decade as advertisers have taken advantage of booming ridership to reach record numbers of New Yorkers," said Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO. "In light of the current fiscal crisis, we are pushing the envelope by introducing new advertising strategies that could generate millions in additional revenue for the transit system."

Over the past ten years, revenue derived from the sale of advertising in the MTA system has increased dramatically – from $38 million in 1997 to $106 million in 2007. A main goal of MTA Real Estate is to continue this growth by working with our various advertising contractors to develop new and vibrant advertising platforms throughout our system. In releasing the agency's preliminary financial plan in July, Sander committed to exploring new advertising revenue sources. The result of that promise was a multi-pronged strategy developed in consultation with MTA's subway advertising contractor, CBS Outdoor, and released today as a pilot project.

The primary feature of this new effort is History's™ "Cities of the Underworld" promotion, planned for the month of October, which will employ a large-form vinyl display of creative promotional graphics on the interior and exterior walls of a Times Square Shuttle train. This will be the first time that a subway car has been fully wrapped in New York City.

"Opportunities like this exciting promotion for "Cities of the Underworld" help us to create a captivating experience and convey to consumers the immersive look and feel of this television series," said Chris Moseley, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for History™. "We were looking for creative ways to engage commuters with this unique series and to feel the underworld right in the heart of New York City; the wrapped Shuttle train was a perfect fit."

As part of this October initiative, CBS will employ three additional display strategies. First, the staircase at the Grand Central end of the Times Square Shuttle will be fitted with vinyl displays. Second, one of the remaining Times Square Shuttle trains between Grand Central and Times Square stations will include exterior panel displays. In addition, these exterior panel displays will also be posted on trains that move through Grand Central Terminal and Times Square stations (numbers 1, 3, 4, and 7 trains). And, third, the turnstile arms in the Shuttle fare control areas at Times Square and Grand Central Stations will be equipped with ad covers.

In the future, when able to be sold as a single package, these strategies will create a dramatic new symbiotic station advertising product that will command a premium above any other display sold on its own. Such a premium package will generate an additional $1 million per year in advertising revenues for the MTA from the Shuttle alone. If this test at Grand Central/Times Square stations is successful, other high-traffic stations could easily be included for similar sales packages.

In addition to the above efforts in the GCT/Times Square Area, in the first quarter of 2009 Times Square Shuttle tunnel will also become the home of the first in-tunnel advertising installation. The shuttle riders will be able to view a full motion video presentation through the window of the shuttle car. The MTA is also planning to pilot test a digital dominated station concept at two of the NYCT stations, Grand Central Shuttle Station and 42nd and 6th Avenue Station mezzanine (Bryant Park).

To further expand the advertising revenue base, MTA in partnership with Titan Outdoor (its MTA bus and commuter rail advertising contractor), will be pilot testing digital advertising on one of its NYCT buses and, if successful, hope to expand the program to approximately 200 buses. In addition, a similar digital advertising pilot test is planned for in car commuter rail displays in the near future.

The MTA will realize over $125 million in 2008 in advertising revenues. If these new initiatives are implemented on a permanent base, the MTA expects these revenues to grow substantially.

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