Advertisements in mass transit
- Here's a thought:
Mr. Crawford writes about removing advertisements from mass transit.
Although an ad-free transit ride would be quite pleasant, here's
something to think about:
The ads in Tallahassee city buses are on an "ad strip" high up on the
bus walls. The ads are kinda just thrown in in a hodgepodge manner,
they consist primarily of government programs to aid the poor (ie,
riders)--adult education, free english classes, child & family
services, "just say no to drugs", etc--plus signs advertising
service changes for upcoming holidays. I have seen service updates as
much as 5 years old still visible, the ads overlap each other, and
a general eyesore.
Change scenes to Madrid. The advertisements in the Madrid metro are
primarily private-sector ads advertising movies, department stores,
restaurants, and water parks--and listing their metro locations--they
are VERY tasteful and I actually enjoyed having them to look at so I
could see where to eat, where to shop, what movie to go see, etc. The
Madrid metro itself has some ad signs warning against smoking and
telling how many security cameras are in use metro-wide (well over
1000). They will also post of ads warning of construction and delays.
The highway equivalent of metro ads is billboards--a complete eyesore
due to the fact that they stick out like sore frickin' thumbs on the
roadside. Plus, a distracting ad might cause a car accident. What's
worst a distracting metro ad could do? I doubt there are very many
documented cases of someone falling into the track because they were
looking at an ad.
I was wondering how much of the cost of the metro's operation and/or
construction could be covered by such ads. If the metro was to be
free, the cost of ads would skyrocket with ridership.
There's also no rule saying we can't put TVs in the metro stations.
Those of us who frequent airports are familiar with CNN Airport
Network--I'm not sure, but I think that airports get a revenue from
displaying that (due to the commercial breaks). I would use this as a
last resort, since it would be an AUDIBLE intrusion due to the
This would make all the tax-hating conservatives/libertarians happy,
since the metro would not add anything to the gas tax or property
I, personally, would be willing to look at tasteful ads if I did not
have to buy monthly passes to ride.
Yes, I am a socialist. Yes, I am opposed to government subsidization
transportation. Yes, I am very, very staunchly opposed to
commercialization of public schools (don't get me started on Channel
One). However, considering the state of mass transit and roads in the
USA, I'm willing to settle for anything.
Anyway, IMHO, it would be a help to that district's economy to have
advertisements, especially if they're visible from the train as it
passes by. Imagine some guy riding the metro from his office's
back home at the end of a long day of work, hungry and in need of
dinner, and an ad for a Chinese restaurant at an in-between district
(which he has never been to before) catches his eye. He will get off,
eat there, and, on his way out, might buy a Coke at a convienence
near the metro station to drink on the way home. THe possibilities
- Hi Chris,
Again, sorry for the late response.
Could you point me to some of the references on in-car-air-quality?
I've been working closely with a number of auto design engineers who deal
with climate control systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
They pay very close attention to the inside air quality of their designs and
must meet their company standards for minimising build-up of pollutants
inside the car (unfortunately, I don't know of any government standard in
It would be interesting to see if the engineering standards actually 'do'
what they are supposed to do.
P.S. Unfortunately, these designers haven't put a proposal through for the
'spike in the steering wheel', nor the 'exhaust venting through the
From: Chris Bradshaw [mailto:chris@...]
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2001 12:02 AM
Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Advertisements in mass transit
On June 26th, "Boileau,Pierre [NCR]" wrote:
> . . . . It is often difficult for the human mind to comprehend that a
> choice to drive our car on a Monday morning, rather than ride the bus,
> affects the health of a Nepalese family because their climate changes and
> this creates a greater risk of vector-borne diseases. These messages are
> too surreal for even an intelligent person to comprehend. The messages
> need to be more localised and need to deal with our choices affecting the
> health of our neighbours and ourselves.
And, immediately afterwards, Richard Mosely wrote:
> . . . . I mean in today's urban cities it is the
> non-car user that inhales the fumes, hears the noise, . . .
The driver of the car only _thinks_ (along with many car-free people)
that he is externalizing the fumes, noise, and danger to others. In
fact, he is only _sharing_ them.
Studies have shown that the air quality _inside_ cars is worse than that
along the street edge (perhaps the cyclist sitting near the exhaust pipe
is in the worst location, but not the pedestrian).
As far as noise is concerned, the car noise is not externalized, only
overwhelmed by the stereo.
And the danger? Well, although the motorist has the benefit of safety
gear inside the car he bought, he is the one person whom he most
endangers (although I enjoy the hypothetical rules that cars should
have a spike in the steering wheel and that exhaust should pass through
the cabin on the way to the exterior).
That point should be pressed with the public much more. It brings the
environmental arguments as close to the local/personal as can be.
Also, cars should be required to carry a warning: "Danger to self and
others increases with distance and speed driven."
p.s., For those who still want to point out that the force of the car is
still more chilling for the vulnerable users outside the vehicle, I
would point out that drivers indeed feel guilt and stress over that
imbalance of power. Hitting a pedestrian or cyclist does alot more than
"ruin your day." When police and society try to console drivers, saying
that the assault was really "an accident," they only drive the guilt
even deeper. I wish someone would study the long-term psychological
effects on drivers involved in such collisions.
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