Re: “King County rethinks bus ad policy” (TNT, 12-22).
One group is running anti-Israel ads on King County Metro buses. Now another group wants to run anti-Palestinian ads. Each ad accuses the other country of war crimes. Both contain disturbing photos.
Is Metro in the advertising business, or is it simply a transit system that also advertises?
It is a transit system, considered a common carrier, and thus legally bound as a common carrier to a higher standard for transporting passengers safely.
Metro’s advertising policy states that it can reject ads that incite a “breach of public safety, peace and order.” It can “reject any material that is so objectionable under community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system.”
Metro’s first duty is to transport passengers safely. The ad purchasers are free to seek alternate billboard space that won’t impact the safety of bus drivers and numerous passengers.
Imagine these buses toodling through town – a traveling call for inflaming public fervor about a complex political issue.
Who really wants to ride on a bus with graphic ads inciting powerful sentiment about the Middle East? If Metro seeks a unique way to cut ridership, this is a winner.