By ABBY SOUZA
To Tuolumne County Supervisor Paolo Maffei, 20 buses running six days a week could mean more cash for the county.
Maffei proposed at a recent Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting that the transportation division of the Public Works Department look into selling space on the sides of county transit vehicles for advertising.
"Any source of funds we can think of, in the light of our present budget, we should do," Maffei said. "I just don't know how we're going to go about it."
Darin Grossi, deputy director of transportation services, said he and his staff are calling public transit agencies around the state to find out.
Grossi said he's looking for other counties' policies regarding ad content and how ad programs are implemented.
"What we've found is that many agencies have absolutely no policy whatsoever," Grossi said.
"But I think other counties are able to find a fair amount of funding from these types of programs."
A new asset
Calaveras County's bus advertising program is new. Whether it is profitable or not remains to be seen, but it looks promising, said Transportation Planner Dan Wayne.
"It is an asset we had that had never been taken advantage of before," Wayne said.
The county's transit system has sold ad space on the exteriors of the buses and in the system's "riders guide." The guide, which explains routes and run times, came out July 8 and has an entire page dedicated to ads.
The first ad went onto Calaveras County buses in May, Wayne said. It touted the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.
The Bear Valley Music Festival and Clark Broadcasting have advertised similarly.
Clark Broadcasting General Manager Larry England said he has been happy with the arrangement between the Calaveras County transit system and Clark's radio stations KVML, KKBN and Star 92.
"We bartered space," Wayne said. The radio stations' ads sit in the rear windows of all Calaveras buses.