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11/21/2003



Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA to adjust public-service advertising guidelines



Tight budget constraints are forcing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials to find ways to save money while maintaining ridership and service levels. They’ve found one: changing public-service advertising guidelines.

The authority plans to reduce the availability of public-service advertising space, and limit space that’s available to local jurisdictions and the federal government. Under previous guidelines, 13 percent of the system’s advertising space was set aside for government agencies and non-profit organizations to use at no cost.

The new guidelines enable WMATA to set aside 8 percent of that space to promote ridership growth. WMATA officials plan to use advertising space in rail cars and stations, and on the sides of buses to promote public-transit advantages . Access to the space will enable the authority to enhance marketing efforts without incurring additional expenses, according to a prepared statement.

Local jurisdictions served by WMATA and the federal government can use the remaining 5 percent of space to promote programs or events that are non-commercial and politically non-partisan. Non-profit agencies still can advertise, but will have to pay for space.



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