January 29, 2004

TV adverts on busses

Category: Transit

Chicago: I realize that transit agencies are perpetually strapped for cash, but putting televisions on the busses that bark adverts at you for the length of your ride is just out-of-control obnoxious. Nevertheless, the suburban Chicago PACE system is doing just that.

It won't be adverts the whole time, there's actually some sort of programming between the adverts, but as breakthegridlock points out: "The CTA rightfully bans "radios and other loud devices" from its vehicles, recognizing that they're a nuisance to riders. How is television any different?"

Posted by Nick at January 29, 2004 1:07 AM


Ugh. Sounds like something out of Pohl and Kornbluth's novel "The Space Merchants", in which aircraft and other transit had windows that periodically opaqued and showed ads, usually when passing the best scenic views.

I thought the singing billboards on Manchester's metrolink were bad enough.

Posted by: Tim Hall at February 10, 2004 8:53 PM

I live up in Canada...so I don't know about the States...but they`ve already started to implement tv monitors in some of the Taxi cabs up here.

The play advertisments for local merchants...and in a darkened cab are quite toxin on the eyes.

Luckily, at present they are on swivel pivots so that you can kinda get outta their way (by sitting on the far side of the cab...and twisting the hell outta the monitor so that is blasts all its cathode rays over at the other side of the cab.

However, if you've got more than one person in the back of the cab....someone is gonna get screwed. Or a twisting match will ensue.

I imagine it is only a matter of time before they have monitors in the back of the headrests of the front seats...and there is no escape from marketting. It's actually surprising that they haven't implemented something like this already...or also on planes (where you also are a captive potential ad viewer).

Posted by: kiki at February 20, 2004 2:53 PM

So does Milwaukee!!!

Posted by: Patrick at February 22, 2004 1:27 AM

They're experimenting with these on Sydney busses, too, but they don't have sound. In order to hear what's being presented (I've seen National Geographic shorts, cooking, trivia quizzes, and even news and weather), you've got to tune in using your own Walkman radio. This may be even more absurd than Chicago's experiment.

Posted by: Greg at March 16, 2004 6:20 AM

This is nothing new. In Hong Kong, they are EVERYWHERE. The government ignores pleas and protests against the obnoxious machines, and I am left to stare blankly at TV screens and loud noise for the duration of my rides. Yeay...

Posted by: Dora at March 29, 2004 7:57 AM

If I lived there, I'd organize a "loud radios revolt", in which everyone gets on the bus and blares their radio if the TV is on.

Posted by: Bob at May 31, 2004 9:19 PM