BizPac Wins Battle With DTA Over Bus Ads

DULUTH, Minn. – A lawsuit has been avoided between a pro-business political action group in Duluth known as BizPac and the Duluth Transit Authority over banner ads on the city buses.

Three BizPac ads were pulled from the buses in April by the DTA after a complaint from city staff.

The DTA said the ads about housing needs, questionable priorities by the city and a call to fix streets were against its policy and standards.

BizPac threatened to sue, saying the removal of the ads violated free speech and that BizPac was being discriminated against, especially when ads for a local abortion clinic were on buses at the same time.

But Tuesday, BizPac announced it came to an agreement with the DTA to get the ads back up on buses through the end of October.

BizPac ads pulled by the DTA and then put back up.

BizPac released the following statement Tuesday:

“Duluth BizPac has come to an agreement with the DTA to avoid litigation. The City of Duluth did not participate in the settlement. This agreement allows BizPac advertising on DTA buses which was removed this past April. We are happy that the DTA agreed to post our advertising on its buses so that our message will be seen by all Duluthians. We did not want to get to this point, but are pleased to have this issue resolved so BizPac can continue to voice opinions regarding issues facing everyone in our city. Duluth BizPac is a political action committee committed to improving the image of Duluth as a business community.”

The DTA says it wanted to avoid litigation and not get into a political debate.

The DTA, however, will be updating its advertising policies to better define what political content is not accepted on its buses.

The DTA released the following statement Tuesday:

“The DTA accepts advertising to help fund bus service for the citizens of the Twin Ports Area. We do not wish or intend to be in the middle of political debate for accepting advertising on our buses. We had,  and have a policy governing our acceptance of advertising.  We reached an agreement with Bizpak, (a political action committee) to avoid threatened litigation.”

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