CATS Alcohol Ads

City Mulls Ads At Light Rail Stations

Dec 17, 2012
Charlotte Area Transit System

Perhaps it's hard to believe, but giant billboards on the sides of Charlotte buses and trains only appeared about a year ago when the city started allowing ads on transit vehicles. Now the Charlotte Area Transit System wants to go even further.  

Monday night, CATS will petition city council members for permission to sell advertising on light rail platforms. CATS Spokeswoman Jean Leier says the recession hurt transit funding.


Wednesday night the Metropolitan Transit Commission is scheduled to approve a compromise to its new policy allowing alcohol ads on Charlotte buses. The initial decision brought strong criticism from some members of city council and prompted the commission to take a second look.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Metropolitan Transit Commission will consider a request to reverse its decision allowing alcohol ads on the sides of buses and trains. Consider, yes.  But actually rescind the decision?  Not likely.

“I wouldn’t support changing the position,” says MTC member and Cornelius mayor Jeff Tarte.

Tarte says the commission will talk about the request from the Charlotte City Council at tonight’s meeting, but says the income from the ads – estimated to be nearly $600,000 annually – is too great to give up with CATS struggling to rebound from the recession.