Thursday June 16, 2005
In efforts to improve passenger amenities on board its buses, Metro has partnered with Transit Television Network, LLC to provide a broadcast passenger information and entertainment television system on board Metro Buses.
This week Transit TV, a nationwide transit broadcast provider, will begin installing video monitors on Metro buses that will broadcast special Metro travel and emergency information and automated stop announcements. Broadcasts will also include current news and sports headlines, stock quotes, word games, trivia questions and snippets of vintage television shows. Installation of the TV system on Metro's entire fleet of 2,400+ buses is expected to take a year to complete.
Transit TV will pay all system costs, including equipment, installation, content, maintenance and system support. Metro incurs no costs. Additionally, a percentage of advertising profits will be shared with Metro as part of the agreement. Approximately fifteen minutes of advertising will be part of every broadcast hour.
"The TV system is a win-win for Metro and its patrons," said Warren Morse, Deputy Executive Officer of Communications at Metro. "Not only does it enhance the bus riding experience for our patrons, it costs the agency nothing to operate and actually generates advertising revenue of $100,000 or more per year."
"We are extremely excited to be working with Metro and hope our TV screens will entertain Metro passengers just as they have done in our other cities," said Marc Plogstedt, Chairman of Transit TV. "Our business model of providing and maintaining the whole network to Metro at no cost and sharing a portion of the advertising revenue is a public-private partnership in the truest sense."
Metro's bus patrons have responded enthusiastically to Transit TV in recent tests. Bus operators have reported that many of their patrons are asking about the TV-equipped buses, hoping to ride them.
Television content in both English and Spanish will be refreshed every three to four hours via strategically positioned transponders, which wirelessly transmit new programming directly to a hard-drive installed on the bus while in transit.
TV sound will be overridden by Metro's Automated Voice Annunciation system which also announces approaching bus stops.
The system also will allow Metro to apprise bus riders with information in the event of emergencies.
Metro will be producing more than a dozen entertaining, informative segments for broadcast on the TV monitors called 'Metro Escapes,' that will acquaint riders with different Los Angeles-area destinations accessible by Metro. Riders will learn about specific travel itineraries to Hollywood/Highland, Pasadena, Universal City, Long Beach and more.
Transit TV has installed the system on transit systems in Orlando, Milwaukee, Chicago and Atlanta in recent years. Surveys in those markets have shown that the majority of riders -- more than 80 percent - enjoy the programming, and that vandalism appears to have decreased on buses outfitted with the monitors.
For more information on Metro Bus and Rail timetables, visit www.metro.net or call 1-800-COMMUTE.
For more information on Transit TV, visit www.transitv.com. For advertising opportunities call Christopher Laing on 310-568-1605.