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WMATA debuts digital ad displays at rail stations


In a partnership with Outfront Media Inc., the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday unveiled a new digital advertising program at eight rail stations.

The advertisements will run on 72-inch digital flat-panel screens that will be mounted to the wall and feature an interactive high-definition display, WMATA officials said in a press release.

The divided screens will show eight-second advertisements and provide real-time customer information, such as train arrival and departure times.

"Digital displays enhance the customers’ journey through way-finding and real-time information, and provide enhanced revenue opportunity for WMATA," said Outfront Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Male. "Relevant and changeable ad messaging based on criteria such as time of day, weather, and other sales triggers is extremely appealing to advertisers."

The new touchscreen displays also show nearby bus connections, as well as availability of parking, car sharing services, bike racks and bike lockers.

For WMATA, advertising generates $20 million in annual revenue, which helps keep fares down, said Lynn Bowersox, WMATA's assistant general manager for customer service.

WMATA will pilot the technology for three to six months, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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