BART turned on its first electronic news and advertising sign Tuesday at the Montgomery station, beginning a test program to determine whether more signs should be placed at other stations.

The 82-inch LCD sign is on a wall at the Montgomery station across from the passenger platform. The digital sign has no sound, but features a rotating mix of news, weather, commercials and BART consumer messages.

The train system will survey riders' opinions of the sign this spring before the transit board decides in May whether to authorize six screens a piece at the heavily-used Embarcadero, Montgomery and Powell Street stations, all in San Francisco.

BART estimates it could make $1 million a year off a digital sign program at its stations.

"The digital displays will add modern technology to our stations, provide useful information, and brighten up the underground platforms," said Aaron Weinstein, the transit system's chief marketing officer.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267 or dcuff@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff