Drew Blevins is TriMet’s Director of Marketing and Customer Information.
Some of you have expressed concern about the “Palestinian Loss of Land” advertisements that are posted on some of our buses and trains. We value and respect this feedback, so we wanted to share with you why we were legally required to post this ad.
In the past, we only accepted commercial ads—those that promote goods or services. Under this policy the “Palestinian Loss of Land” would not have been accepted. However, in 2008, the Multnomah County Circuit Court ruled that our policy violated free speech rights under the Oregon and United States constitutions.
We have requested the Oregon Supreme Court review this decision. But until the court decides the issue, our ad policy has been suspended so that we are in compliance with the law.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Advertising on TriMet property generates more than $5 million per year in revenue that—particularly in this difficult economic environment—helps support keeping buses and trains in service.
That said, TriMet does not endorse any particular viewpoint or product of an advertiser, and all ads are clearly marked “Paid Advertisement.” The “Palestinian Loss of Land” ad is a paid advertisement.
Again, thank you for your interest in this issue, and I hope this helps clear up any confusion about the ads appearing on TriMet vehicles.