FARMINGTON — You can expect to see ads adorning the side of some Davis School District buses soon.
“We expect the first ads to appear in two-three weeks,” said Davis District Transportation Director Brian Larsen.
The district will receive about 63 percent of revenue, said Michael Beauchamp, president and CEO of Alpha Media, which landed the contract May 21.
Advertising could generate up to $200,000 for the district in its first year and $350,000 by the fourth year, he told board members in May. In that meeting, theboard approved a request for proposal.
District guidelines specify any revenue must go to the transportation department.
“Right now we’re only replacing about five buses per year,” Larsen said. “If we could replace 15 buses each year, we would.”
The 209-bus fleet includes some that are 20 years old. Ideally, buses would be taken out of active service after 10 years and placed in a space fleet for five to seven years, he said.
That means the equivalent amount of funds currently used for transportation can be allocated for classroom-related needs, Larsen said.
In 2011, the Utah State Legislature passed HB 199, giving school districts the bus advertising funding option.
Alpha Media contracts with districts in five states and is about to enter a sixth, Beauchamp said.
“We’re not targeting children,” he said. “Ads typically promote doctors, dentists, auto dealerships and banks.”
The ad mix has been about half local businesses and half national brands, Beauchamp said.
“That money could go back to the classroom, teachers, students, things that are important,” said Davis Board President Tamara Lowe.
Jordan District has received $40,000 in advertising revenue since it signed on in April of 2012, said Jordan District spokesman Steven Dunham.
Alpha Media installs the ads on the buses. Jordan District’s involvement is minimal, usually only involving cleaning the bus sides prior to ad installation, Dunham said.