Ads on stairs, platforms: Central Railway’s latest idea

Central Railway has come up with a novel way of generating revenue and also maintaining stations’ infrastructure. It has begun leasing out space on platform floors and staircases at stations for displaying advertisements.

“This is the best way to earn revenue and maintain the infrastructure in aesthetic look. We have done this on experimental lines at five stations — CST, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Chembur,” SC Mudgerikar, CR spokesperson said.

“At all these stations, we have given ad space on two staircases each. The rates are as low as Rs15 per sq feet.”

Last month, the CR had leased out platforms to a TV serial advertisements that had pasted yellow stripes near the edge of the platform.

While they displayed their ad on the yellow strip, it also served as a safety mark for passengers on the platform.

Mumbai’s suburban railway ferries nearly 7 million passengers daily and its stations and premise are the best mode of capturing public attention.

Commuter organisations welcomed the move but said that the money generated from such ideas should be used to improve infrastructure on city’s suburban railway only.

“It does look good and will improve the aesthetics of the premise, but the railways should be careful and not over-do it. They should also use the money generated from such campaigns for bettering suburban railway,” S Gupta, Mumbai Yatri Sangh said.

The railways have moved over to novel methods of advertisements recently from painting the entire train with an ad campaign to installing life-size TV screens at city’s both termini, besides normal modes like banners and hoardings. Other ideas include inserting ads in grab handles, cheque drop boxes and scrollbars.

One idea that, however, failed was the installation of plasma TV sets in few suburban trains on Western Railway. The scheme, introduced last year, failed after commuters complained about objectionable content on them.

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