Monday, February 14, 2011

Making money on transit station names

Something I've written about a couple of times in the past has been the idea of selling transit station naming rights to business or corporate sponsors as an alternative revenue stream for OC Transpo. It's generally met with resistance--having geographically-specific names makes for a much more intuitive and user-friendly transit system, so people heading down Bank Street can easily figure out they've got to get off the Transitway at Bank and Slater, for instance--but with recent news of Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Transportation Authority considering the measure to help offset funding shortages, it's obviously becoming a real option for public transit utilities.

Ottawa has funding shortages, too, as do just about every other transit utility in the world. Selling naming rights is always an option, although some might like to see it as a last-ditch one.


Anonymous said...

The danger with that is the name of the stations changing too frequently, not unlike corporate sponsored stadia. You wouldn't want the Bank Street stop called Widget Station one day, only to have the WIdget Company bought by Sprockets Corp the following week. Too much confusion.

For way-finding, the geographic names are far more attractive.

I suppose you could call it Widget Bank Street Station, but then no one would likely say the corporate part of the name when referring to where to get off.

Anonymous said...

patterson raking in the $$$$ on the ads and how much does the city get ...hummm then there is the stop calling announcement they can capitalize on , like montreal does ...and how about collecting the loss of revenue threw the HONOUR system..30 million a year in loss revenue ..300 tickets a month ..shall i go on ???


Eric S. Smith said...

The TTC doesn't get piles of money from subway station advertising, and they allow ridiculous "station domination" campaigns. I'm not sure that a year's worth of announcements saying "Next stop, Greenboro by Scotiabank," would be worth all that much. And now that I say it, my example would just confuse people into thinking that there was a Bank of Nova Scotia anywhere near Greenboro.