COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Transit said Friday, advertising on city buses is helping meet budget needs. Revenue is "$100 thousand dollars to $125 thousand," said city marketing specialist Christa Holtzclaw. "It doesn't actually cover the equivalent of a route. I mean, it does cost for an entire year, quite a lot of money to be able to do each route, but every little bit helps."
The city has used external advertising on buses since 2009, and recently started using a new contracting company. "Transit Advertising Inc. was contracted with and they handle the sales, but they also handle the production and the installation, and tear down of all of the ads," said city marketing specialist Christa Holtzclaw.
Columbia resident Darrell Black has used Columbia Public Transit's bus system for almost three decades and is pleased with the ads. "Twenty seven years years, and I think it is a great thing for the Columbia Transit to advertise on the bus," said Black. "Especially Jimmy Johns and major businesses downtown." "The advertisements are on the back of the bus or the side of the bus and that's what attracts a lot of people to go to the business in the downtown district," said Black.
But not all frequent riders say the pay attention. "I've noticed whenever they change them, but as for actually getting me to go to those places or anything, also they haven't really," said frequent rider Catherine Wood. "I already knew about those places."
The city council is also looking into other funding options, to help fund bus routes. "The positive look is that we will be able to find alternate sources of funding. But as of right now, funding is still an issue." said Holtzclaw.