You're not crazy if you think you see the billboard on the side of the Vancouver Transit No. 110 bus moving.
What you are actually witnessing is the very latest in transit innovation: a huge, glowing LED panel that marketing officials are banking on being as attractive to advertisers as it is to the public.
"It's like a big TV screen," said TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie of the new technology, now being showcased only along the Lougheed bus route in Burnaby.Bus boards, billboards, transit shelter and interior posters will go digital and Vancouver and the Olympics are just the beginning.
The panel - which is already in use in Chicago and New York - was brought to Vancouver by the Lamar Advertising Co., the agency contracted by TransLink to manage outdoor marketing throughout the region's transportation corridor.
Founded in 1902, Lamar currently operates over 150 outdoor advertising companies in more than 40 states and Puerto Rico. Lamar has over 70 transit franchises that reach driving audiences across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico through billboards, digital billboards, bus shelters, benches and buses.
By the time the 2010 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Vancouver launch next February, Lamar Transit Advertising Ltd. expects to have 46” LCD screens on every platform station of Vancouver’s existing 31 station Skytrain line and the city’s new nine station Canada Line subway line due to open later this year. Further, following a recent pilot project with digital signs on the side of one city bus, Lamar has equiped between 10 to date and 25 buses by the start of the Olympic Games – part of a plan to eventually have digital signage on 100 buses of the Vancouver Transit System. The Vancouver buses are now rolling.