Using Transit Farecard Ads to Generate Revenue

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will sell advertising space on the front of MetroCards to make more money.

In an effort to generate more revenue, the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City announced earlier this week it will start allowing advertising on the front of MetroCards. The New York Times reports that the ads will take the place of the trademarked blue MTA logo on a gold background, which could lead to a range of different looking cards being in use at any given time. Riders will not be able to choose their card, insuring that millions of people will see the ads placed on them multiple times a day. Everything on the front of the card is up for purchase, save the black magnetic stripe and instructions for use right below it. In the past the agency has occasionally allowed advertising on the back of the cards at the rate of $25,500 for 50,000 cards or $450,000 for 2.5 million. The rates for the putting them on the front has yet to be set, but agency spokesman Aaron Donovan has said they will certainly be higher. There is no set date for the rollout of the new cards and while the agency is hopeful they will generate more revenue, upcoming hearings on a possible fare increase will go ahead as planned.

Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.