Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by metraRI
I wonder if the idea of wrapping bilevels for major companies or corporations has ever come up with the Metra board. Caltrain wrapped a few cars for Target a few years back and I believe new wraps have been put on some more cars. It could be another source of funding outside state and federal funds.

Caltrain Target Wrapped Cab Car
Caltrain Target Consist

  by byte
I could see that working as a last resort if the finances got really dire, but due to the nature of what surrounds the tracks Metra runs on, it'd be a hell of a sell for whatever advertising agency gets hired out to do it. The problem I see is that the cars get moved around from line to line, for mechanical reasons and for fuel reasons. A corporation could pay for a car (or train) of solid cars to be runing on the BNSF, which is almost consistantly surrounded by population, only to have the car get reassigned to the SWS, which obviously does not have the same population density surrounding it as the BNSF does. Advertisers wouldn't like this, and would start asking questions about why the Brand X's ads are seen by thousands every day on a busy line, but brand Y has its car on a line without many people.

The only line I could feasibly see this working on would be the MED, and I bet it would go over like a lead balloon among the ridership since that line already gets the short end of the stick in more ways than one (although it might keep the old Highliners from rusting any more...).

  by doepack
Advertising works best when it can reach the largest possible audience. To that end, I'd say CTA is better equipped for this since it runs more frequent service within the immediate Chicago area. In contrast, Metra's system is much larger and a lot more spread out, which increases potential advertising coverage by area, but not necessarily in terms of the number of people reached. If it were to be done on Metra, I think BNSF would be the best candidate for such an experiment, since it has over 55,000 daily riders. Round up a set of six or seven 7300 series coaches for the cause and see what happens...