Given the state of the economy and the cuts in education funding, it’s not a total surprise that several states have taken up the issue of school bus advertising.
With at least six states already allowing the practice, legislators have been proposing bills that would allow ads on school buses. In Washington, a senator recently introduced legislation that would let districts place advertising and educational matter on and in school buses if the material had been approved by the district’s board of directors. Revenue would be deposited in the district’s general or transportation vehicle funds. A third party would be responsible for securing the advertisements, do all the work, collect the money and give the school district a check.
Many in the school transportation industry see ads on school buses as a safety concern or an unwelcome commercial component. The ads will only be placed in a few small, specific spots on the bus – never the front or the back – so they don’t reduce the visibility of lights, doors, etc.
The proposed legislation mentioned above did not attract enough support and ended up failing. Several state bills have also failed. But other districts are considering school bus advertising at this time at the state level.