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The $1.43M CTA booze cruise

Riders have been seeing more Amstel Light and Tanqueray on the CTA—though alcohol is not allowed on the system.

Since the CTA board began allowing alcohol ads on trains and in stations in March, more than 5,300 displays with alcohol messages have popped up on the system, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.

The messages, which include PSAs and ads for booze brands, have generated about $1.43 million, about 8 percent of the CTA's total advertising revenue this year, Steele said.

Amstel Light, in particular, seems to have tapped into the CTA market. GP has spotted Amstel Light placards on Red and Brown Line trains and signs at Loop stations. A marketing manager for Heineken, which manufactures Amstel Light, did not return a request for comment.

The CTA board ruled in March that alcohol-related advertising could not exceed more than 10 percent of the system's total advertising.

Previously, there was a 15-year ban on alcohol advertising on the trains and in the stations though CTA bus shelter advertising, which is run by global ad company JC Decaux, has included alcohol-related messages.

Over the past few years, some of this bus shelter advertising has not just promoted alcohol, it has celebrated it. Absolut Vodka has been known for its garish advertising including putting fancy red chairs in a shelter to market its Absolut Bloody mary cocktail.

One of the concerns raised during CTA board discussions in March was the audience for the rail ads. Alcohol advertising is not allowed at stations where underage student riders with reduced fare cards tops 7.5 percent of total ridership.

The board also restricted alcohol advertising to stations between Montrose Avenue and Roosevelt Road and east of Ashland Avenue. Advertising is also allowed at the Sox-35th Red Line station and the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line station.

 

Which line is it anyway?

The CTA began introducing the new 5000-series rail cars with the aisle facing seats on the Green Line on Sunday. The cars are already on the Pink Line. Some stations are served by both the Green and Pink Lines. Because the new trains are not color-coded with the line color, make sure to check the train's signs so you don't get on the wrong train.

 

Don't 'pass' up the chance

The 49th Ward is seeking artists to create 20 murals in Rogers Park on CTA and Union Pacific underpasses. Send a resume and a picture of the proposed mural to rogersparkmuralproject2012@gmail.com. Applications are due July 16.

 

Talk to us

CTA officials said they are working on creating a lane on the Dan Ryan Expressway solely for shuttle buses during next year's five-month shutdown of the southern Red Line. Is this lane a good idea? Send an email to tswartz@tribune.com. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.

 

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: LaSalle Blue Line

When it comes to looks, the Blue Line subway stops are the CTA's ugliest stations. They are dark and dank. When it rains, puddles seem to stick around forever. The LaSalle Blue Line station is no exception. The one bright spot of the Loop station are the vintage photos of Chicago near the turnstiles. But like some of the other Blue Line stations, the LaSalle stop is not accessible for people with disabilities. Long and narrow escalators shuttle commuters to and from the platform. Last year, the Chicago Department of Transportation unveiled a new $5.2 million "intermodal center" to provide easier connection between the Blue Line, the nearby Metra station and CTA buses. Now if only LaSalle Blue Line riders could have an easier connection to the platform.

Next up: Kedzie-Homan Blue Line.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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