College Station ISD Launches Bus Ads

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Billboards on 6 wheels.

That's what College Station school buses have turned into for the school year that begins next week.

It's a way for the school district to make up for a lot of cuts in the state education budget.

School starts next week and there's something new on College Station school buses.

"Everybody likes to follow the school district and the athletic department and so we just have a chance, opportunity to do this for them," said Lary Buckley, who owns CarDoc Automotive Service in College Station.

Buckley is one of a number of customers buying ad space on the sides of school buses.

"It's a very affordable advertising program," he said.

The ads which are similar to giant bumper stickers are being stuck to 37 buses to start out and cost $150 per month for the high visibility version and $275 for the larger, eye level ones.

CSISD Superintendent Eddie Coulson tells us the district will receive 60 percent of the profits while Humble-based Steep Creek Media will take the rest.

"It's a great way for CSISD to generate some revenue. I think a great thing for our local businesses to be able to advertise and I think it's just a good partnership and representative of what we want to be about in College Station ISD," said Eddie Coulson, Ed.D.

It's a new trend being seen not only here but across the state as well as cash-strapped school districts look at new ways to bring in more money. College Station ISD officials tell News 3 ads are expected to bring in $44,000 in the first year alone.

"It's a turnkey operation for the school district. They don't have to put out any money. We go and sell the ads, we have an installation crew that installs and then takes them off when their contract is up and we also bill and collect the revenue," said Cynthia Calvert, Steep Creek Media Owner and CEO.

"Hopefully the situation's a win-win situation. Give a little name recognition for my company and it'll help the school districts with their budgets," said Lary Buckley.

A way to offset costs as the district starts school this year with a $2,470,000 budget deficit.

The district also has final approval on the ads.

There's some you won't see including cigarette, alcohol, political, religious, or issue-oriented banners.