Should Cities Sell Naming Rights to Transit Stations?

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by M II A II R II K, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. M II A II R II K

    M II A II R II K Senior Member

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    Philadelphia May Accept Money to Privatize Station Naming; Pittsburgh Considers Similar Move


    June 22nd, 2010

    Yonah Freemark

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    Read More: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/...ion-naming-pittsburgh-considers-similar-move/

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    The last two years have been extremely difficult for virtually every American transit agency — they’ve been slaughtered by declining tax revenue and been forced to both decrease services and increase fares, despite a general uptick in the market of people interested in riding public transportation. This lack of funds — and a realization that Washington is not riding in on a white horse — has led agencies to do things many wouldn’t have considered appropriate just a few years back, just to make a quick buck.

    In Philadelphia, that may mean the renaming of the Broad Street Subway’s Pattison Avenue terminus to the AT&T Station by August if the SEPTA regional transit board agrees to the deal in a session later this week. Pattison Avenue is adjacent to the city’s major sports stadiums, which themselves are frequently subject to re-namings based on changes in sponsorship. The five-year deal would net the cash-starved agency $3 million and include the corporate name on maps and signs throughout the large rail and bus system; this deal could be the first among many. Pittsburgh’s Port Authority, currently building a light rail link to the stadium district called the North Shore Connector, is considering whether it should follow a similar strategy and seek out sponsors for its infrastructure projects.

    Should the name of a business be ingrained onto the transit map of any city? Is there a point where the public sphere must be separated once and for all from the private world?

    Philadelphia is not the first American city to make this move. New York’s MTA agreed to affix the name “Barclays Center†to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue station for $200,000 annually last year, but that agreement does not remove the current name, it just lengthens it. Cleveland’s Euclid Corridor bus rapid transit line was renamed the Health Line after the local Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, though that project was a brand-new service. And Detroit’s planned streetcar will include stations whose names will be sold to sponsors.

    But Philadelphia’s decision could be going further because not only does it remove the current name entirely from maps, but it does so to existing stations that have retained their current names for decades. Even worse, the names have no relevance to the areas they serve — it’s not like AT&T has a major facility at Pattison Station. The whole situation raises the frightening prospect in the near future that, instead of riding the Broad Street Subway from City Hall to Pattison, people will take the Coca-Cola Trolley from Pizza Hut to AT&T. Moreover, five years later, considering the current rate of changes in corporate names and sponsorships, all of those names may have to be modified!

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    » SEPTA board votes Thursday on plan to rename station on behalf of AT&T in exchange for $3 million. Is the public interest being sacrificed?

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  2. EnviroTO

    EnviroTO Senior Member

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    I would prefer renaming streets and highways. Station names are the destinations themselves which would be very confusing if renamed.
     
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  3. Filip

    Filip Senior Member

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    Pepsi presents Dundas Station? No thanks.
     
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  4. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    Transit station names can be culturally meaningful. They can also help users navigate the system if they're named after an intersecting street. A city which sells station naming rights to corporations is a city without much dignity or self-respect.
     
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  5. LAz

    LAz Active Member

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    I do not like this idea.

    However, if I was a mayor of a city that is bankrupt, then heck, why not? Despair leads to all sorts of things that one would not do otherwise.
     
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  6. doady

    doady Senior Member

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    No.
     
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  7. adma

    adma Superstar

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    North York Centre becomes Aren't We Naughty Station?
     
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  8. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    If there was significant revenue in it and it included the geographic name I wouldn't have an issue with it. Something like "Coca-Cola Donlands Station"?

    But there would always be caveats. Obviously no sponsor that would be considered obscene would be unacceptable. Next, I don't think it would be worthwhile unless there's actually a regular revenue stream involved and a long term commitment by the sponsor. No changing names every year. 10 year commitments should be the absolute minimum.

    I really don't think anything that gets transit more money should be ruled out. We need the money and sponsorship is already something we allow in other public spaces (ACC, Rogers Centre, Sony Centre, etc.).
     
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  9. EnviroTO

    EnviroTO Senior Member

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    Yes, but people aren't as likely to be confused trying to find a baseball stadium as trying to figure out whether it was Coke or Kit Kat station. I have less problem having sponsors of a line (i.e. get on at Eglinton and take the Bell Phone line to Bloor and the Rogers Cable line to Pape) because the stations are the real way-finders, not the lines.
     
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  10. Fresh Start

    Fresh Start Banned

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    Do not want.

    People get confused enough trying to make sense of the University Line station names which don't correspond with the major cross-streets the stops fall under.
     
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  11. Second_in_pie

    Second_in_pie Senior Member

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    My question is whether it's actually beneficial to the people paying for this, which I doubt it is. This whole corporate war thing where companies will use any means necessary to dominate as much popular media as possible just seems like a giant money hole to me.

    But if this does happen, don't do something like make it the Microsoft YUS and Apple B-D. They might demand fees when transfering from the other line :rolleyes:
     
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  12. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    Like I said the name would have to include the geographic location. Obviously Kit Kat station is hard to find. But is Kit Kat Pape station that hard to find?
     
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  13. EnviroTO

    EnviroTO Senior Member

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    I don't think sponsors would go for that though. Most branding deals now remove the old name completely so people are forced to say the sponsor when giving the name. For example if Rogers had renamed SkyDome to Rogers SkyDome everyone would still just say SkyDome. If Pape station is renamed Kit Kat Pape station everyone will still call it Pape station which means there is little value for buying the name. You name it Kit Kat station and change the subway map to say Kit Kat, then everyone is forced to say Kit Kat.
     
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  14. doady

    doady Senior Member

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    Lets take an closer look at the examples used in the article: SEPTA and MTA.

    So SEPTA sold naming rights to AT&T for a $3 million for 5 years. That's $600,000 per year for an agency that has a $1 billion operating budget and $400 million capital budget each year. That is friggin' pathetic.

    And NYC's MTA, an even bigger agency, with an even bigger operating budget, sold naming rights for $200,000 per year? I laugh.

    TTC also spends billions of dollars each year, and receives $165 million each year from Ontario gas tax alone, and another $155 million each year from the Federal gas tax. What difference is a few hundred thousand dollars gonna make? This is just Rob Ford-style pointless penny-pinching.
     
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  15. M II A II R II K

    M II A II R II K Senior Member

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    Tim Horton's Station, Condom Shack Station, DuMaurier Station if it gets that desperate.
     
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