Management & Operations

L.A. Metro debuts digital subway advertising

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Metro Staff

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) debuted a new electronic LED advertising display on the Metro Red Line subway in May, the first such system in North America.

The two-year pilot project installed and operated by Sidetrack Technologies Inc., will display 15-second advertisements visible to passengers on northbound trains between the Hollywood/Highland and Universal City stations. Advertisers are expected to include film, television shows, retailers and other national advertisers.

The project will generate at least $240,000 per year in additional rail operating revenues for Metro. All fabrication, installation and maintenance costs are borne by Sidetrack Technologies.

The LED system is composed of 360 digital strips that light up at timed intervals as the train passes the subway wall, blending together to form a smooth-flowing video presentation. The system will be controlled remotely via Internet from Sidetrack’s headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada. It has the capability to rotate ads and show different ads at certain times of the day or specific ads for passengers going in different directions.

The test ad featured a preview of the Warner Brothers movie “Speed Racer.” Digital tunnel advertising displays have been installed in other international cities, including London, Singapore and Beijing.

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