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Dynamic Advertising to Increase MTA Revenue

Novel forms of advertising continue to be introduced on the subway as part of the MTA's efforts to increase revenue from ad space. The latest, which went into service this week, is the full wrap of a 6 train by the watchmaker Swatch.

Last year, riders on the 6 line saw a full train wrap from national retailer Target. Riders on the 42nd Street Shuttle (S) were treated to fully wrapped trains promoting TBS' coverage of Major League Baseball's 2010 postseason. While subway car wraps have become increasingly popular with advertisers, this campaign was the first to include video screens.

Additionally, for what was believed to be the first time since railroading began in the New York City region in the 1830s, the exteriors of commuter trains have displayed advertising. Fifty of the Long Island Rail Road's M-7 train cars displayed ads last year.

"The MTA earns more than $100 million per year from sales of advertising space, mostly through traditional print media, but we continue to map out new ways to maximize the value of our physical assets," said MTA Chairman Jay Walder. "One way we are doing that is by creating more dynamic advertising opportunities."

Among the MTA's recent initiatives designed to increase ad revenue are station domination campaigns in which advertisers are invited to take over entire stations and digital displays on trains, buses and stations. The MTA is also exploring 3D images and in-tunnel advertising.