Northside Bus Co. owner speaks out against ads on school buses



By Michelle Costa

JEROME, ID (KMVT-TV) Can you imagine the day when school buses have ads plastered on the sides of them? That may soon become a reality.

Legislation to allow school buses to sport corporate logos and other advertisements is being discussed.

Are school buses the newest place for advertisements? The owner of the Northside Bus Company hopes not.

"I'm a little opposed to it because I'm concerned with people concentrating on the signs and not on what the bus or the kids are doing,” said Jerome Fiscus, owner of Northside Bus Company.

For 50 years, Fiscus has been contracting his 55 school buses to two local school districts. His company runs 30 routes in Jerome and 4 routes in Hagerman, hauling 2,000 kids in Jerome alone every day.

"We own the school buses and we contract to the District and do all of their transportation. I think if they tell us we want them on there, we would have to,” he said.

Reflective tape is something that needed to be on the buses as a part of regulations, but if ads can go on the buses, will something like this be covered up? Fiscus said, "We pay money to have these buses painted to meet all the laws and then they cover it up.. that defeats the purpose."

Lawmakers contend the ads are needed to offset the state budget deficit that will require nearly $92 million in cuts to Idaho agencies next year.

About half a dozen states already allow bus advertising.
But Fiscus hopes the Gem state doesn't go on that list.

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