Paint has started to peel around the ads on CNG buses in Kamloops and the Regional District of Nanaimo wants this address before it allows advertising on its buses. — RDN photo

RDN won’t allow advertising on transit buses

Defective paint causes paint to lift and bubble around ads on CNG buses

The Regional District of Nanaimo is not going to permit exterior advertising on its buses, due to paint defects that are going to cause rust and costly long-term issues.

Darren Marshall, manager of fleet and projects, informed the Transit Select Committee at its Sept. 14 meeting that BC Transit has been informed about this decision. And until BC Transit addresses the paint defects, Marshall said, no advertising will be allowed.

BC Transit discovered that the original 25 compressed natural gas (CNG) powered regional district buses have a paint or fibreglass defect where the paint is bubbling and lifting. This has happened on the same type of buses in Kamloops, where the paint has peeled around the ads. BC Transit has informed the RDN about this occurrence.

BC Transit currently has a contract with Lamar Advertising, which may sell advertising space on the exteriors and interiors of the BC Transit buses, including those within the RDN Transit System.

The contract has a condition that would require the advertising firm to address potential damage caused by the ads. But Marshall, in his report to the committee, indicated that the damage could cost more in the long run and may not be sufficiently covered by the revenue generated from the advertising. It also will lead to the loss of the CNG brand.

The RDN receives 35 per cent of gross revenues from the contract between BC Transit and Lamar Advertising. The RDN earned $44,200 in 2014, $35,400 in 2015 and $35,400 in 2016 through advertising on 24 conventional diesel buses.

This year, no revenue will be received since the entire RDN conventional fleet is comprised of CNG buses and there is no advertising.