The MTA, always looking for a quick buck these days, is bringing back an old idea: in-tunnel subway advertising. Basically advertisers would pay to put their signs up between stations, designing the ads to appear animated when trains sped by. This is not a new idea—the MTA mulled testing out a similar scheme back in 2006.
Advertising has long been a money-maker for the MTA but has been flat at $109 million for the past two years. The agency hopes to up that number to $120 million this year (in 2008 it reached a record high of $118 million). This plan—the PATH and Boston's T system already have similar ads in place—is one of many that the agency is considering (expect to see a whole lot more of those "station domination" ads that cover a station head-to-toe).
These would be sold separately from the MTA's has existing advertising contracts with CBS Outdoor and Van Wagner. Meanwhile the MTA started selling ad space on MTA.info in December, an initiative that has reportedly raised $10k over three months.
Growing up our parents and grandparents always moaned about the cost of the subway and insisted that mass transit should be free to the public and subsidized by heavy advertising and tax revenues, so our first take on the idea is "of course!" But that's just us. Would you be okay with having flip-book advertising between stations?
Here's an example of such an ad from Tokyo: