The city of Dunedin in Florida is indeed a beautiful city. And it’s pretty clear that Dunedin officials plan to keep it that way. At the expense of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority however they banned commercial ads on the bus shelters in and around the city starting in May of 2013. Now Dunedin has only 12 shelters, while neighboring Clearwater has 23. Will other cities follow suit? That remains to be seen. But for now, going forward, Dunedin want no more of Clear Channel’s sometimes questionable images clutters up the landscape. Take, for example, the picture on this post. This is NOT a picture of a shelter in Dunedin but it comes from Los Angeles where it was outside of a high school advertising a movie. Pretty poor taste if you ask me!
A little history shows that Clear Channel has paid for the structures and maintained them since 1995 in exchange for advertising space yet PSTA had very little control over the content. The city claims there have been numerous complaints the some of the ads contained certain sterotypes and pictures that could be perceived as family unfriendly or not socially or politically correct.
Regardless, PSTA stands to lose tons of money especially if other cities like Clearwater join in on the ban. Luckily PSTA under a new agreement with Clear Channel will retain ownership of the shelters and will not have to buy them back. They are beginning to explore alternatives to the past agreement with Clear Channel and lean on a combination of federal, state and local funding, grants in which Dunedin officials are willing to partner in if needed.
Susan Latvalla a Pinellas County Commission states that there is too much disparity in and around the city with respect to the shelters. Some areas have them and some don’t. She’d like to see more of them to accommodate bus passengers better but without the questionable advertising to say the least.
Dunedin always has and probably always will have a great desire to maintain the city’s beauty up and down Dunedin neighborhoods as well as major thoroughfares and commercial areas. And if banning ads is what they need to do, it looks like they will.