The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for interior and exterior advertising on Harbor Transit vehicles. The Harbor Transit Authority Board is ultimately responsible for the adoption of this policy and any amendments. The Harbor Transit Authority Board intends that it is operating in a proprietary capacity and its vehicles constitute non-public forms that are subject to the viewpoint-neutral restrictions set forth below.
The Harbor Transit Authority Board has approved the concept of commercial advertising on the exterior of its vehicles as a means of raising revenue for the transit system. Revenue generated from commercial advertising is returned to the general operating budget and used to reduce local contributions to fund operations.
In order to realize the maximum benefit from the sale of advertising space, the program will be managed in a manner that produces as much revenue as practical, while ensuring that advertising does not:
- Discourage the use of the transit system.
- Diminish Harbor Transit’s reputation in the community.
- In any way interfere with operations or jeopardize the safety of passengers, employees, and the public.
- Cause offense to its customers or the general public.
The exterior of vehicles is reserved for commercial advertising only. In addition, a portion of the interior of buses will be available for commercial advertising, with Harbor Transit also making available free public service advertising space for certain non-profit organizations.
Harbor Transit may, from time to time, also use exterior and interior vehicle advertising itself to promote public awareness of transit programs, services and promotions. This type of advertising may include the display of flyers, brochures, posters and special advertisements.
This policy is applicable to Harbor Transit Authority Board members and its employees, and companies that contract with Harbor Transit for the leasing of advertising space on Harbor Transit vehicles.
- Commercial Advertising: Advertising for the sole purpose of selling or renting services or property for a profit.
- Political Advertising: Any advertising that supports or opposes the election of any candidate or group of candidates, or any ballot question, initiative, petition, or referendum issue, including bond issues, constitutional amendments, or proposed legislation.
- Non-Profit Organizations: Organizations that meet the requirements for a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that: 1. have a physical office in the geographical boundaries served by Harbor Transit; 2. provide social welfare services; and 3. serve the needs of Harbor Transit passengers.
- Public Service Announcements: Non-commercial and non-political advertising by Non-Profit Organizations promoting their social services.
IV. COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING STANDARDS
Advertising displayed on the interior and exterior of Harbor Transit buses or trolleys shall be strictly commercial in nature and purpose. Commercial advertising also is available on the interior of the buses.
Because Harbor Transit serves persons of all ages and backgrounds and strives to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all passengers, the following types of advertising are prohibited:
- Materials that contain false, misleading, libelous, slanderous, or deceptive images.
- Advertising for tobacco, tobacco-related products, alcoholic products, and illegal drugs.
- Advertising for adult products, services or entertainment directed to sexual stimulation.
- Advertising of contraceptive products or hygiene products of an intimately personal nature.
- Advertising that depicts sexually explicit, obscene and/or pornographic images or words;
- Advertising that portrays graphic violence.
- Advertising that contains discriminatory, derogatory, negative or personal attacks against individuals, groups, or organizations.
- Advertising that is political.
- Advertising that is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action, or is likely to incite or produce such action, including but not limited to unlawful actions.
- Advertising that promotes illegal activity of any kind.
- Advertising that encourages persons to refrain from using Harbor Transit or public transit in general.
- Advertising that explicitly and directly promotes or encourages the use of means of transportation in direct competition with public transit.
- Advertising messages that conflict with the mission of Harbor Transit.
- Advertising that contains Harbor Transit’s name, brand logo, slogans or other graphic representations of the transit system, unless written consent from Harbor Transit is obtained prior to use.
The prohibitions also apply to advertisements that include a website that provides a message that does not comply with this Section.
V. PRODUCTION AND PLACEMENT GUIDELINES
Advertising materials will be produced at the advertiser’s expense and must be of good quality and conform to standards for size, weight, material and other physical characteristics as set by Harbor Transit.
Advertisers must pay for installation and removal of advertising from vehicles. Costs will be determined by Harbor Transit staff or its assigned contractor, which will arrange for the installation or removal of advertising. It is the advertiser’s responsibility to deliver or reclaim materials in a timely fashion or they may be disposed of at Harbor Transit discretion.
VI. COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITY
Harbor Transit shall determine the interior and exterior spaces that will serve as appropriate locations for commercial and/or non- profit advertising. Harbor Transit reserves the right to modify, change, or alter the locations and sizes of the available ad spaces as it sees fit. The placement and size of any advertising shall be at the sole discretion of Harbor Transit.
Harbor Transit shall approve or reject a proposed advertisement or PSA within 15 days of when the request and all other documents associated with it are received by Harbor Transit.
VII. INTERIOR ADVERTISING FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Interior advertising may be allowed and available to Non-Profit Organizations to display public service announcement (PSA) materials free of charge at the discretion of Harbor Transit. Guidelines for the acceptance of non-profit advertising are as follows:
- PSA materials will be produced at the non-profit organization’s expense, and must be produced through a process that ensures reproduction of good quality on materials of specific quality and size, and conform to uniform standards set by Harbor Transit.
- PSAs must be non-commercial, non-partisan, and non-political.
- PSAs are also prohibited from advertising in the manner provided in Section IV. a through o of this policy.
- PSA space may be available on the interior of vehicles only, provided display space is available.
- PSAs will be accepted on a first come, first-served basis, and may be displayed for up to 90 days.
- The sponsor of the PSA shall pay the applicable labor costs for the installation and removal of their advertising.
Policy Number: 0312
Effective Date: March 28, 2012
Revised: September 25, 2013