TOD Gets High-Touch Treatment in San Francisco

San Francisco's Transbay Terminal is getting a high-tech media platform, thanks to its new promotional partner, Pearl Media. The state-of-the-art transit hub, to be renamed Salesforce Transit Center, will feature 274 digital screens, along with shopping, dining and a rooftop park.

Ad agency Pearl Media is elevating the standard for mass transit, with the development of a platform that will help brands and advertisers reach riders and consumers in downtown San Francisco at the new Transbay Transit Center (previously called Transbay Terminal), or TTC. Set to open in spring 2018, the TTC will eventually link 11 transportation systems and encompass more than one million square feet. The state-of-the-art site will feature retail and dining, among a host of light-filled public spaces, including a 5.4-acre outdoor rooftop park with a garden, trails, play areas for children and an open-air concert amphitheater.

The company plans to design and manage 274 digital screens—which will communicate transit information. provide a way-finding system and display advertisements—backed by a mobile component. In addition to displaying schedules, the content management system will also be able to relay emergency messages. To support the transit hub’s retail corridor, Pearl Media has also reached out to national brands and agencies to implement a 360-degree approach to venue activation.

We want to create excitement in the venue and engage Fortune 500 companies and brands in our mission,” Pearl Media CEO Josh Cohen told CPE.

The redeveloped transit center will offer direct access to the 1,170-foot Salesforce Tower, currently the tallest building in San Francisco. “The location gives us an opportunity to connect with a unique audience, one that typically has some discretionary income,” Cohen explained. “These are people involved in tech, who like to eat good food, support local companies and are active on social media.”

Cohen realizes that creating a memorable experience at TTC not only pleases shoppers, but also brands and landlords: “Word of mouth is so powerful, and consumers are becoming the best endorsers for brands and media.

Some of the methods that Pearl Media is using to attract customers include fashion shows, concerts and art exhibits. In doing so, the group helps to increase property income through increased retail sales, representing a win for landlords. 

By pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, we’ll bring together brands, consumers, local residents and long-distance travelers and create a transit facility unlike any other,” said Cohen, in a prepared statement.

Pearl Media is leading similar initiatives in New York City, with one underway at the Chelsea Market complex, with another venue activation planned later this year for the Brookfield Place mixed-use destination in downtown Manhattan.

Images courtesy of Pearl Media