TARTA goes digital with OnSiteAdzWritten by Stephanie Zarecki | | email@example.com
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) is going digital as of Nov. 1, when it will partner with OnSiteAdz to bring digital advertising to TARPS and Call-A-Ride buses.
The new advertisements will be displayed on 22-inch plasma television screens mounted inside the buses. A variety of ads will rotate every 15 seconds on the main screen and a scroll bar with streaming news, weather and route information will run across the bottom of the screen.
OnSiteAdz approached TARTA with the digital advertising concept a few months ago. According to OnSiteAdz founder and CEO Jeff Hartman, TARTA is a perfect partner for OnSiteAdz because it is a very open-minded organization that is constantly trying to reinvent itself.
“We provide affordable, cost-effective advertising that is also eye-catching and entertaining,” Hartman said. “TARTA felt this was a great idea because they have a very diverse and captive audience that can be reached by our new digital advertising.”
A vital piece to this partnership is the scrolling information at the bottom of the screen. Riders can be notified almost immediately of changes in rates and route information, road construction and any breaking news. Additionally, all of the buses are equipped with GPS technology so each screen will display the location of the bus along the route to update riders.
“This was a win-win for us,” said Steve Atkinson, marketing director for TARTA. “Not only does this partnership take advantage of our diverse pool of riders, but it’s a chance for our riders to gain information about TARTA, public hearings and service changes.”
Eventually TARTA and OnSiteAdz would like to expand their agreement to include all of the buses on regularly scheduled routes. This option will be considered in 2009 after the completion of the pilot program.
“OnSiteAdz has some great ideas that will really help our passengers in their day-to-day lives,” Atkinson said. “The opportunities are almost limitless. It’s flexible. It allows for quick updates and almost real-time information for our passengers.”
There is a slight downside to this sort of advertising. The monitors work via wireless Internet. If the wireless Internet goes down, the monitors and ads would also be down. But Hartman says that is fairly unlikely because all the buses already maintain wireless Internet as part of their GPS and tracking systems through TARTA.
These monitors are already in place in a number of local businesses. El Camino Real on Sylvania Avenue was one of the first local businesses to partner with OnSiteAdz.
“We get a lot of people that stop to look at the ads,” said Salvador Rocha, manager at El Camino Real. “We also get a lot of people that ask us how they can be a part of the digital advertising.”
OnSiteAdz hopes to continue to expand its audience by partnering with more local businesses.
“This is my hometown and it has a lot of potential,” said Hartman. “If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.”