BART passengers to see mini movies out train windows


BART passengers to see mini movies out train windows

BART to launch test of motion picture advertising in tunnel between Montgomery Street and Embarcadero stations

Beginning with the start of the morning commute on Wednesday, March 14, 2007, many BART passengers heading toward the East Bay will be watching 15-second, mini movies as they stare out the left windows of their train car while passing thru the tunnel connecting the Montgomery Street and Embarcadero stations.

Wednesday's launch begins a month-long technical test of "motion picture advertising," which is really a high-tech twist on an old concept. SideTrack Technologies, INC and CBS Outdoor have installed a series of high-tech posters resembling a filmstrip mounted on the tunnel's wall. As trains zip by the posters at 35 miles per hour, many passengers will see what appears to be an animated advertisement playing before their eyes. Passengers in the first 2 to 3 cars of a train may not always see the advertisement during this test period. "This tunnel advertising concept really isn't any different than when you were a kid and you used a flip book to animate cartoons," SideTrack Technologies Chairman Rob Walker said. "We're basically taking an old concept and applying it in a high-tech way to generate additional revenue for BART." BART is the largest train system in the U.S. to use the tunnel-advertising concept. The ads are expected to generate at least $120,000 per year for BART, plus additional revenues if the project is expanded. The first advertisements will be from Target.

These mini-movie advertising walls are a relatively new concept in transit advertising. In early February, Heathrow Express, which carries passengers between London's Heathrow Airport and downtown London, was the first in all of Europe to introduce mini movie advertising to its customers. Only a few other transit agencies in the world have finished the installation of these mini movie advertising walls, including train systems in Boston, Mexico City and Rio De Janeiro.

Over the past year, BART, CBS Outdoor and SideTrack Technologies, INC have been working on installing these walls. Initially, BART customers traveling toward the East Bay from Montgomery Street Station to Embarcadero will see the advertising on the left hand side of the train. If the technical test of the project goes well, BART will look to install tunnel advertising in additional BART tunnels. The revenue these advertisements can generate could amount to over $1,000,000 per year.