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Tom Smart, Deseret News
Bus driver Gayle Burke hooks up the electric engine warmer after finishing his route, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in West Jordan, Utah. The Jordan School District will allow ads on the sides of its buses.

SALT LAKE COUNTY — A new form of advertising is about to become a reality in Utah: School buses in the Jordan School District will host advertisements on the side of their buses. The board unanimously approved a plan to place the ads Tuesday night and hopes buses will be sporting the new ads in the next few weeks.

During the first year, district spokesman Steven Dunham expects the district to make upward of $200,000. “We’re just hoping that any income will benefit the district,” he said.

Over the next four years, the district is projected to make more than $1.3 million from advertising on its buses.

Tuesday night, the board approved a bid from Alpha Media to place the new ads on its buses. The company, based in Dallas, will take 37 percent of the revenue and the Jordan School District will take 63 percent.

“They’ll handle everything for us,” Dunham said. “We’ll just get a portion of the proceeds from the advertisement.

Per Utah law, the new ads for the buses can’t take up more than 35 percent of the side of the bus. No ads will be allowed on the front or back of the bus. The ads can’t cover windows or emergency information. The ads have to be age appropriate, can’t feature alcohol, tobacco or sexual matters, and must be approved by the school board.

“They will look at every single ad and make sure that they fit into the values our parents want,” Dunham said.

The money gained from the ads will go back into the district’s transportation department, for things like maintaining and improving the bus fleet and establishing critical bus routes.

The Jordan School District is the first in the state to advertise on its buses. Dunham says everyone benefits.

“This is a unique form of revenue generation that doesn’t increase a tax burden on our patrons,” he said, “and I think that is a win-win for everyone.”