November 20th, 2015

Metro board clears way for alcohol advertising in transit system

By Paul Duggan
The Washington Post

Metro’s board, eager for new sources of revenue, voted Thursday to scrap a 20-year-old policy against alcohol ads in the transit system, a first step toward possibly allowing beer and liquor signs in trains, buses and stations. Coping with stagnant fare revenue, declining rail ridership, rising expenses and no significant increase in funding from Washington-area jurisdictions, the transit agency needs money to balance its budget. A Metro staff report this month said alcohol ads “could potentially generate $5 million” over the next several years.

Diane Ribbe, chairwoman of the nonprofit group U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance, which wants to curb the marketing of alcohol, told board members that such ads are a public health threat. ”The more alcohol ads children see, we know the more likely they are to drink, to drink early and to drink more,” she said. “And they are more likely to ultimately suffer alcohol-related issues over their lifetime.”

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