In case anyone else is confused about why we’re seeing wrapped buses again–despite the fact that the Council banned them three years ago and did not authorize partial wraps until a few weeks ago–I think I finally understand well enough to explain:
Starting in 2007, Metro was prohibited from selling bus ads that covered any part of the vehicle’s windows–not, specifically, bus wraps. At that point, Metro’s ad vendor, Titan, started trying to find advertisers who were willing to create wraps that did not cover bus windows. (This was not easy, since most ad templates do cover windows, and it’s expensive to create a custom template for one market–especially one with other transit agencies, like Sound Transit, with no such constraints.) At first, the only ad sold was to the zoo.
In the meantime (way back in July of 2007), Metro presented the Council with a “partial wrap” proposal, which allowed wraps as long as they left a 15″ portion of each window uncovered. This proposal was endorsed by both the KC Transit Advisory Committee and the Accessible Services Committee, but, thanks to some frustrating drama and politics, the Council didn’t get around to voting on it until last month. (Guess a zillion-dollar budget gap can be a powerful motivator.) During the long wait, Titan was apparently able to sell a few “clear-window” wraps, and those are the wraps we’re seeing now.
I assume we’ll start seeing the recently approved partial wraps sometime in the next several months.
Whew! I think I got that right. Metro folks (and all-knowing transit geeks), please chime in with additions or corrections.