BART mulls video in trains, stationsBy Staff
BART hopes to generate up to $7 million a year in new revenue by charging advertising fees for video screens on station platforms and in all train cars, transit agency spokesman Linton Johnson said Thursday.
Video screens with BART news and ads could be placed in BART stations in about two years, as the agency will be putting out a request for proposals for potential vendors for that idea in the near future, Johnson said.
A request for proposals for video screens for all BART cars will be put out at a later date, he said.
BART first discussed the idea of installing video screens in stations and on cars two years ago when it looked at new ways of generating revenue in the wake of the agency's budget shortfall, Johnson said.
Johnson said BART is thinking about providing its own local programming with news on the transit system, which he called "BART TV." The video screens also would be able to provide updates on BART service, such as delays and emergencies, he said.
Johnson talked about the video screen proposal in the wake of a presentation at Thursday's BART Board of Directors meeting about how the agency can do a better job of making announcements to its riders in a timely fashion.
Tamar Allen, BART's chief mechanical officer, said it will be very expensive to upgrade its public address system because the Americans With Disabilities Act mandates that if BART upgrade its verbal system it must also upgrade visual information for hearing-impaired passengers.
Allen it's estimated that it would cost BART $2.2 million to upgrade its public address system with new equipment that wouldn't be knocked out of service from time to time due to vibrations on BART trains.
But it would cost an even larger amount of money to install video screens in all BART cars so that hearing-impaired passengers could get updates on BART service and delays, she said.
Johnson said a possible solution to finding the money for upgraded audio and visual information systems would be to contract with a vendor or vendors to install video screens in stations and in cars. There wouldn't be any cost to BART under such a system, he said.
Johnson said BART hopes to choose a vendor for video screens in stations within six to eight months.
The vendor would then need to install and test the system, so it could be about two years before the screens were in use in stations, he said.
Copyright ©2007 Bay City News. Published 03/22/2007.