Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 607 Monday, authorizing a pilot program that will allow up to 25 publicly owned buses, operated by the city of Santa Monica, to . The glowing mobile graphics are drawing many critics, including Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
The will feature the new digital signs that change every three seconds, similar to the digital signs found throughout Los Angeles.
The bill has generated concerns that the mobile advertisements, like texting, will become another distraction for drivers, local activist Dennis Hathaway of Ban Billboard Blight told Patch.
Approval by the would mean implementation in January. Buses would carry a 30-square-foot sign on each side of the vehicle with ads that will be either “streaming,” meaning that they move across the bus for the duration, or they will be static until they change.
AB 607 is a five-year pilot program. At the end of the five-year trial period, a report will be issued to recommend the continuation or termination of the program.
The buses will travel into Westwood, Brentwood, Culver City and downtown Los Angeles. The city of Santa Monica has strict constraints on billboard advertising within its borders, but AB 607 will permit buses to carry the glowing advertisements.
Assemblywoman Julie Brownley, D-Santa Monica, sponsored the bill to offset public transportation price hikes, she said.
Trutanich has been particularly outspoken about opposing the signs. In a letter to the assemblywoman on Aug. 25, he wrote about his concerns with the "Las Vegas-type signs," stating that they posed a threat to public safety.
"The greatest impact will be in the city of Los Angeles,” Trutanich wrote. He expressed his disappointment that Santa Monica had rejected a plan for an operating agreement with the City of Los Angeles to be able to regulate the buses in LA neighborhoods.
Santa Monica is still open to negotiating an operating agreement with the city of Los Angeles, Big Blue Bus Director Ed King said in an interview with Patch.
Read more about AB 607 on .