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Transportation Funding & Financing

Advertising

Overview

Advertising can be an attractive source of revenue for transportation agencies. Transit agencies can sell spots for interior and exterior advertisements on buses and trains, as well as for bus shelters, in transit stations, and at transfer points. State DOTs and local governments may charge fees for billboards along highways and other roads, but some critics have noted that the fees assessed often do not even cover the cost of administering or regulating billboard programs. Both highway and transit administrators have also contemplated funding informational kiosks at roadway rest stops and transit stations through advertising revenue.

Resources

Advertising Case Study: Chicago Transit Authority (PDF 305 KB)
This advertising case study is excerpted from the Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 31, "Funding Strategies for Public Transportation" (1998). This discussion details the experience of CTA's advertising program, whose administration is outsourced to advertising specialists and provides the agency with money to be used for any purpose, including as a local match for Federal grant funds.

Billboards and Outdoor Advertising - FHWA Office of Planning, Environment and Realty
This site includes information on FHWA's Outdoor Advertising Control Program and links to other related resources.

Best Practices Procurement Manual (Revenue Contracts) - FTA
FTA's BPPM, Section 1.3.3.8 presents guidance concerning revenue contracts, which are third party contracts whose primary purpose is to either generate revenues in connection with a transit-related activity or to create business opportunities utilizing an FTA-funded asset. For example, this might include the placement of commercial advertising on bus shelters purchased with FTA grant financing.