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Date of Issue: September 03, 2008

Free trolley ride for advertisers end

The Manatee County Area Transit ended its free advertising program on the Island trolley last week and has implemented a rate structure for advertisers.

Advertising revenues will be used to offset the cost of operating the fare-free trolley, which currently costs just under $1 million annually, according to the most recent Manatee County budget.

A federal grant funds half of the cost to operate the trolley, with Manatee County and the three Island cities subsidizing the remaining portion.

MCAT director Ralf Heseler said the paid advertising program began during the slow season in order to have advertising in place when the seasonal visitors begin to return in October.
“We took into account the seasonality of the Island, but we wanted to begin generating revenues now,” he said.

Anyone interested in information for advertising on the trolley can go online to, or call 941-747-8621, ext. 229.