Thinking about getting started with transit advertising?

If you’re an SMB looking to reach a broad audience in target localities, you have every reason to.

Transit ads on public transportation are a fantastic way to achieve massive audience exposure in urban areas and increase brand awareness amongst a varied audience.

Transit advertising is advertising placed on or in modes of public transportation, or in areas where public transport vehicles dock. It includes rail advertising, ads on buses, in subway cars, at bus stations and subway stations, on train or bus platforms, in airports, and in or on top of taxis.

Transit advertising is a highly effective method of getting your message all over towns, urban areas, or your target major city. With today’s eye-catching digital transit media displays, SMBs can achieve huge ad exposure to thousands of commuters, pedestrians, and street traffic every single day.

How to market your SMB Business using DOOH

Types of Transit Advertising

If you want to make transit advertising work for your business, you need to know the different types of transit ads that are available to you. The great thing about transit advertising is that, with all the different types of digital transit media available to SMBs, it is extremely flexible, offering countless opportunities to target the thousands (if not millions in large cities) of people who use public transport facilities every day.

Let’s take a look at the different types of transit advertising you need to know about.

Digital Transit Station Advertising

The first type of transit advertising to be aware of is the digital screens you find at transit stations – which includes advertising at bus stations, train stations and platforms, and subway stations and platforms.

The great thing about digital transit station advertising is that it reaches varied demographics. No matter if you’re targeting young professionals on their way to work, families looking for a fun day out or somewhere kid-friendly to eat, or retirees planning a relaxing getaway – they all use public transport each and every day, and spend a lot of time at terminals and stations waiting for their rides.

This is why digital transit advertising is so effective for SMBs.

Figures from the Nielsen Digital Transit Advertising Report in association with the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) reveal that digital transit station out of home (OOH) advertising engages consumers and drives action.

In particular, it finds that:

  • 54% of consumersnotice digital ads in station concourses or corridors “all” or “most” of the time.
  • 67% of consumers engage in actions after seeing a digital transit advertisement at a station, such as searching for an advertiser or visiting their website, visiting the store or restaurant, and visiting or posting to social media
  • 60% engage in mobile device actions after seeing a digital transit advertisement at a station, such as searching for/visiting the advertiser’s website, scanning a QR code, using an SMS, URL, or hashtag, downloading or using an app, accessing a discount offer, or making a purchase.
  • 57% of consumers notice digital transit station advertising that give directions to a business, of whom 48% visit that business, where 82% make a purchase.

Transit station advertising presents a fantastic opportunity for SMBs to break the monotony of traveling. No matter the town or city, the regular daily commute gives you a ready-made captive audience looking for a distraction – the perfect opportunity to get your products and offers in front of commuters.

Taxi Advertising

Taxis represent one of the most popular forms of transportation, especially in big towns and major cities.

How to market your SMB Business using DOOH


A taxi will often travel well over 100 miles a day all over town. Today, many are fitted with digital screens on their roofs, providing a cost-effective way for SMBs to spread their message across a city. Buying ad space on a few or even a whole fleet of taxis will enable your message to dominate a local market, as taxis travel from airports, to entertainment venues, to city centers – and everywhere in between.

The Nielsen study took a close look at the impact of taxi top advertising. The results are definitive – transit advertising on taxis drives both engagement and action amongst consumers.

transit advertising in bus station

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Digital advertisements aren’t only confined to taxi tops, however. Today, digital screens are found inside taxis as well, displaying ads to passengers as they travel on board from A-B. Taxi interior advertising is especially effective as you have a captive audience that is usually more than happy for the distraction throughout the journey.

A separate study from Nielsen and the OAAA finds that 68% of taxi riders notice interior taxi ads, with 76% of these looking at them “all” or “most” of the time – and this drives them to action.

Burger King digital advert in bus station

Nielsen study looking at the impact of taxi top advertising

percentage of taxi riders that notice taxi ads and take an action

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The effectiveness of taxi advertising, whether by encouraging audiences to visit a store location, engage with the brand through online channels, or ultimately make a purchase, is well documented. With multiple methods of reaching audiences now available, either via taxi top advertisements or DOOH screens within the vehicle, taxis represent an extremely effective form of transit advertising upon which to deliver targeted brand messages and localized promotions. Further, with messages delivered at the right location and in the moment, advertisers and brands utilizing taxi advertising receive consistently high engagement from the audience with a greater propensity to make purchases.

Bus Advertising

Digital transit advertising on public buses is a fantastic way to get your ad noticed as buses travel to all the hot spots in town. According to survey data from the OAAA, 55% of US consumers noticed ads on the side of public buses in the past month and 39% in the past week.

percentage of bus riders that noticed a transit ad last week vs last month

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Bus advertising has huge reach. According to research:

  • 73% of commuters state they prefer buses with advertising
  • 80% of consumers say they respond to bus advertising
  • 86% of bus passengers can spontaneously recall bus advertising

Nearly all bus companies give businesses the opportunities to advertise on their vehicles, and more and more are equipped with digital screens both inside and out, making it extremely easy and affordable for SMBs to get their messages out there.

This is true for both local and national buses, which is great if you want to spread your message out of town as well.

Airport Advertising

Much like transit station advertising, one of the major advantages of airport advertising is long exposure time as people wait around for their planes or to check in or reclaim their luggage – ensuring high visibility of brand message to customers.

According to OAAA data, airport advertising is extremely effective at engaging consumers and driving action.

percentage of rail and subway commuters that notice train station digital ads and take an action

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One final and important benefit of airport advertising that should not be overlooked is the credibility boost it offers advertisers.

Indeed, commuters expect to see ads in airports – and will therefore be impressed by businesses whose advertisements appear in them.

Any business with a marketing presence in an airport is likely a trusted, reliable business as far as potential customers are concerned – and that is brilliant for brand building.

Get Started with Transit Advertising with The Neuron

SMBs can begin their digital transit advertising campaigns right away with The Neuron – a demand side platform that connects advertisers directly to premium digital screens all over the country.

With automated bidding, up-to-the-minute reporting features, and our free to use DOOH Design Studio, you can get your messages in front of commuters in minutes.

Try The Neuron today.