As part of its effort to expand advertising to generate more revenue, the Charlotte Area Transit System will soon have ads at light-rail stations.
The Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to give CATS the ability to sell ads at Lynx Blue Line stations. Since there are no walls at the light-rail stations, the transit system will install sign posts that can display the ads.
Council members approved the change with one condition: There will be no alcohol ads allowed at the stations.
Last summer, CATS caused a stir with some City Council members when the Metropolitan Transit Commission approved a plan to allow ads for beer, wine and liquor on the outside of buses and trains.
To appease council members, the MTC voted to keep the alcohol ads off of small neighborhood shuttle buses. But the alcohol ads are allowed on regular buses and trains, and some Lynx Blue Line cars currently are partially covered with liquor ads.
CATS said it expects the new station ads to generate $200,000 for the transit system.
Like many transit systems with rail, advertising on the platform is a norm and we have had repeated requests from regional and national advertisers to advertise on the platforms, said CATS marketing manager Olaf Kinard in an e-mail. It is a natural extension of our existing product lines.