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Should transit agencies sell naming rights to stations?

Should transit agencies be able to sell the naming rights to transit stations? This is a question being asked all over the U.S. as transit agencies struggle for money during these tough economic times. Philadelphia, New York, and Miami have agreed to rename their stations, and Detroit and Pittsburgh are considering it.

At first glance it seems like a no brainer. We sell the rights to sports facilities, so why not transit stations?

But nothing is as simple as it seems. Two very important issues that need to be addressed when considering selling the naming rights to transit stops:

  1. Is the name of a station supposed to indicate a geographic location to assist riders as opposed to a corporate logo?
  2. Isn't corporate influence in the public sector already at an all-time high, and does this not continue to blur the lines between public and private sector?

What do you think?

Posted in Beyond Parking on Jun 28, 2010

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