The Big Yellow School Bus, Now With Ads

The financially beleaguered Cypress-Fairbanks ISD has decided to put advertising on its yellow school buses as a way of raising some much-needed revenue.

The school-bus advertising partnership is with Steep Creek Media and proceeds from ad revenues would be split 60-40 with the 60 percent going to the district, according to Steep Creek spokeswoman Olivia Calvert.

Dr. David Anthony, Cy-Fair's superintendent, attracted a lot of attention when he announced recently that the district was considering rescinding its homestead exemption on property taxes as a way of countering an anticipated budget shortfall of at least $28.8 million.

In a press release announcing a press conference at 4 pm Thursday (and ribbon cutting at 5 pm) Anthony stated:

With available space on more than 700 buses, this initiative has the potential of generating hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars over the next several years for a benefit to the district and with no additional cost to our taxpayers.

Calvert was slightly less enthusiastic, saying "the rolling billboards, a new form of advertising" could generate "as much as $1 million in a year" for Cy-Fair.

Cy-Fair, in far northwest Houston, follows the lead of the Pasadena and the Humble ISDs in bus advertising.

Most of the advertising will be from banks, credit unions and local businesses looking to show community support, Calvert says, and making that one step up from buying a yearbook ad.

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing