PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - As soon as fall 2012, school buses could be carrying not only students, but advertisements on the side panels.
"Allowing for advertising on school buses is a revenue opportunity," said Rob Doss, the transportation director for the Escambia County School District.
An opportunity which would reimburse the school districts on rising expenses like fuel.
Doss manages the most efficient urban district in the state as far as transporting students.
"The state subsidization of the cost of student transportation seems to be, sort of being chipped away at the same time. So as our requirements go up, the costs go up, the state subsidy goes down. There's an increase, then, for local government to find a way to come up with those dollars," Doss said.
And to some, advertising sounds like the solution.
"I don't think there's any problem with it so as long as the school can earn money for the revenue for the school," said parent Brenda Clifft.
Only two ads would be allowed on the buses, and there's restrictions on where those can be.
One won't see politcal ads or any for tobacco and alcohol products. In addition, they can't hinder the structure of the bus in any way, so all locks must work with them attached.
There's many who question using a public platform to promote a private enterprise.
One concern is safety.
"It'll just be another distraction for another car wreck, just as bad as texting, talking on the phone. Just as well, I don't agree with it at al," said concerned mother Lisa Barberi.
"If advertising is effective, then people will be looking at it, reading it, writing down phone numbers and so forth. And so there's quite a bit of concern out there about whether or not drivers will be distracted as they're observing all this effective advertising," Doss said.
Each school district will be able to decide for themseleves whether to adopt the ad system.
The bill has a few more legislative steps to get through. If passed, it will take effect July 1, 2012.
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