What is Transit Advertising?

Transit Advertising

The booming hum of a locomotive barreling down the tracks, the revving engine of a jet plane, the quiet lull of a taxi ride to your final destination—as humans, we’re almost constantly in motion. Wherever you go, you probably use some form of transit to take you from A to B.

That’s where transit advertising comes in.

What is transit advertising? In short, it’s advertising placed on and around transit. And between bus stations, airports, and every other method people use to get around, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with your audience.

This article will detail the types of transit advertising and explore how you can best promote your business to consumers when they’re on the go.

Airport Advertising

Still not sure exactly what is meant by transit advertising? For example, if you’ve ever sat at an airport restaurant watching ads scroll by on a digital display board, you’ve seen transit advertising.

Beyond these display boards, there’s plenty of space for engaging with customers as they’re en route. You can invest in smaller, interactive screens, large posters, or any mix of advertising media—you have room to explore what works best for each campaign.

And no matter your choice of medium, airplane and airport advertisements can be an excellent investment.

Why airport advertising? Airport advertising is particularly useful for several reasons, including:

  • The High Volume – 3 million people fly in and out of US airports every day.1 That’s a lot of eyes looking at signage, screens, and seatbacks.
  • A Captive Audience – Fliers typically arrive at the airport at least an hour before their flight, with 88% walking the concourse before boarding.2 They’re stuck there until their flight, so companies can give them something to look at with a well-placed video ad or information display.
  • The Air of Trustworthiness – There is a sense of sophistication and exclusivity involved with airport advertisement. Use this sense of legitimacy to market your products and you may see a boost in sales and reputation.

Taxi Cab and Rideshare Ads

Want to reach more consumers during the course of their daily lives? Try taxi advertising. This form of public transportation will help put your advertising campaign in front of a wide audience.

Gone are the days of manual taxi meters and cash-only payments. Today, taxis and rideshares have modernized, and with that, their capabilities for advertisements have expanded.

Consider taxi and rideshare advertising options such as:

  • Interior Video Ads – Create a digital video for fares to watch while they travel. Since modern taxis are outfitted with video screens visible to the passengers and capable of processing payments, you can create dynamic video ads to captivate customers as they cruise to their destinations.

1 FAA. Air traffic by the numbers. https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/by_the_numbers/

2 Airport Technology. The hard sell: making a mark with airport advertising. https://www.airport-technology.com/features/why-airport-advertising-is-important/

  • Exterior Ads – Wraps, roof signs, and trunk ads are all common for taxis and rideshare vehicles. Some have even incorporated digital signage attached to the exteriors for those who prefer outdoor advertising. Advertising on taxis will allow you to raise brand awareness while also reaching a varied audience. These ads aren’t just for the fares—they’re also visible to any passing cars or pedestrians. Consider an exterior taxi ad in a bustling city: your ad will make it from one end of town to the next on a daily basis.

As taxis continue to modernize and embrace new technologies, more opportunities for DOOH (what does DOOH mean?) ads will appear. Even now, there are interactive and location-based ads that can target specific customers while they sit comfortably in the back of a yellow cab. This kind of outdoor advertising is great for reaching a varied audience.

Bus Advertising

Whether going across the country or just across town, buses are a capable and convenient transit option. They’re also physically large enough for eye-catching advertising campaigns and even digital ad interactions.

Bus advertising consists of both interior and exterior options. Whether you are looking for king kongs or full wrap advertisements for the exterior, or interior bus cards and posters, bus advertising allows you to reach a wide audience.

In addition, bus stations are not unlike airports or other lobbies where customers frequently wait for hours. With dynamic ads, you could turn a bus station marketing campaign into the most engaging feature in the entirety of the station.

When it comes to bus advertising, considering the following benefits:

  • Local Audience – The attorney or local business person’s image on a bus is a familiar image to many of us. While it may seem like a cliche, there’s a reason so many successful locals opt for bus advertisement—it works. Seeing a familiar face on a commute can build trust and authority with customers, so consider a bus ad to increase your business’ reputation. For example, if your business is located in California consider researching how much are billboards in Los Angeles to get a sense of the market and then compare that with the cost and reach of bus advertising. Bus ads often offer high visibility in specific neighborhoods or routes, making them a cost-effective way to target your local audience directly and build a strong community presence.
  • 24/7 Advertisement – Many cities offer all-night buses, which means your ads can run at all hours of the day. Few other advertising ventures can hold up to the schedule of popular bus lines, making this a rare feature in transit advertisements.
  • Geographic Targeting – Because buses have planned routes, you can benefit from knowing exactly where your ads will go. Target specific areas with ads on certain buses. The more specific your ads become, the more likely the local population will want to engage with your product or service. With bus ads, customers can feel like you’re talking directly to them.
  • Low Cost – While pricing can vary between cities and neighborhoods, bus advertisement is typically one of the more affordable OOH advertising options. With the money saved by taking out bus ads, you can expand your campaign, find out where it’s engaging the most, and double down—there are always more ways to increase your return on investment with transit advertising.

Regular bus riders will engage in bus advertisements frequently and even think about your product as part of their routine. The long-term advantages of bus ads could be massive for your marketing campaign, so don’t miss out on this tried and tested option.

Subway Station Ads

Rushing down the steps to catch the next train? When you can finally pause to take a breath, you’ll encounter several ad opportunities between your departure point and the next stop.

Subways (and elevated trains) offer the metro commuter a wide range of advertisements, all trying to keep up with the busy lifestyle of daily train riders.

Ads can appear on escalators, in cars, on the exterior of the train itself, or on interior subway cards. They can include traditionally printed media or video and audio advertisements. This form of public transportation and transit system in general is a great way to reach all consumer types.

Subway station ads offer benefits like:

  • A Mass Audience – Subways are located in diverse and densely populated areas, so you can cast a wide net with your advertisements there. If your product appeals to large swaths of the public, a subway ad might be the best choice amongst transit advertising options.
  • Easy Viewing – When placed inside a subway car, advertisements are highly visible and can be in view for the entire duration of a trip. Unlike a lot of traditional OOH (what is OOH?) advertisements where your audience may be moving past the ad, your promotion travels with the audience.
  • Localization – Much like bus advertisements, subway ads can be localized to specific routes. That means you can reach out to neighborhood-specific demographics easily and efficiently.

Interstate Rail Line Advertisement

While long-distance train travel isn’t as popular as it was 100 years ago, it’s still an excellent way to travel. Likewise, it’s a unique space for companies to advertise.

Because of its more specialized demographics, train advertisement offers something other areas might not.

With signage, posters, and displays all available in train stations and on trains themselves, consider these factors when weighing the benefits of rail line advertisement:

  • Long Interactions Times – Interstate train trips can last several hours and even days, which means your audience will be interacting with your ads for extended periods of time. Create a marketing campaign for rail lines that’s not only immediately engaging but also has a growth factor that can work synergistically with these long interaction times.
  • Scalable Ads – Because train trips often include extensive waits in the station followed by long stays on the train, you have the option to build a scalable ad campaign that follows your audience from one location to another. The large billboard in a station can be redesigned to fill the smaller spaces of the train car, providing a consistent ad experience.

Train advertising’s most unique benefit is the atmosphere of train travel. Train customers are often in less of a hurry than when taking other forms of transit, lending more time and more opportunities to captivate them with a powerful ad.

Mobile Truck Ads

From full wraps to LED billboards, mobile truck advertisement is often extremely visually stimulating. You can advertise on a local delivery vehicle or on a truck designed for the singular purpose of displaying ads—frequently with digital and video components.

Mobile truck ads can be highly effective for a number of reasons.

  • It’s a billboard on wheels. Oftentimes, mobile trucks ads are crafted with the same tight slogans and eye-catching imagery that makes billboards such powerful mediums for advertising. The mobility of the trucks brings the traditional billboard-style advertisement to a whole new level.
  • The truck can linger in key locations. With many mobile truck ads, you will have a say in where your advertisement goes. That means you can focus on the locations and key hours where your ad will be most visible to your target demographic.

True Impact Media: For All Your Transit Advertising Needs

With all the options for transit advertisement, you have plenty of ways to bring your next marketing plan to life. If you’re looking for advertisements that can be skipped, blocked, or muted, transit ads provide a beautiful way to bolster your business. The only question is how to find your dream ad space.

At True Impact Media, we’re dedicated to providing millions of ad location options for every type of media—including the very best in transit advertising. With an interactive digital map and detailed campaign analytics, you can design transit advertising to fit any marketing campaign.

True Impact Media is all about making ad buying flexible, easy, and smart. Come make your impact today.


FAA. Air traffic by the numbers. https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/by_the_numbers/

Airport Technology. The hard sell: making a mark with airport advertising.

Start Up Guys. Pros and cons of utilizing bus stop advertising.

Kelly Sexton, based in Austin, TX, is a key Media Planner at True Impact Media. His expertise is built on a foundation of significant roles within the advertising and marketing sectors. A graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Denison University, Kelly’s skills span Advertising, Social Media, Public Relations, Marketing, and Digital Marketing. His insights contribute substantial value and forward-thinking strategies to the industry.
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