MBTA may sell station names

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:25 am

To djimpact 1's complaints about spending money on wifi and aesthetics: Part of me is right there with you. Wifi or prettier stations would not make me any more likely to ride the T, so they both seem like frills. But a lot of what public transit has to do is convince people to ride it. My brother-in-law, from Utah, went car-free in Boston for a year until he got fed up with dirty buses and dark, dank stations. People can do stuff online in a train that they can't do while driving (if they are sane). More people riding = more revenue = more chance of paying off debt. So wifi and aesthetics are at least possibly moneymaking investments. 100 more monthly passes in zone 5 = how much money? 1000 more subway passes = $? I'm not saying the math works out, or that the plan is well-thought through. I'm just saying that it might be sensible, so it's not a crazy or wasteful idea on the face of it.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby wicked » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:32 pm

How much would wifi implementation cost? I'd imagine that it's a drop in the bucket compared to the annual T budget, and wifi operation would be a fraction of the implementation cost. No?
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:49 pm

TomNelligan wrote:There's nothing left in America that's not for sale to corporations these days, as evidenced by all the awkward and ever-changing names of sports stadiums and concert venues, so why not subway stations. At least the T plans to retain the historical names with the corporate name appended. Earlier this summer I experienced "AT&T Station" in Philadelphia, the terminus of the Broad Street subway line and known from the time it was built until recently as Pattison Avenue. There is no longer any reference to the geographical or historical name, which has got to be confusing to tourists (especially if they're expecting to find a big telephone company headquarters there, as opposed to the Philly sports complex).

TN: I agree with you concerning the name change on SEPTA's BSL concerning AT&T/Pattison Avenue Station at Philly's Sports Complex...

Earlier this year I went there and looked the station over just to see how often "Pattison Avenue" was mentioned...SEPTA even removed
the directional signs for both sides of Pattison Avenue there...in short not once!

I thought of names like this: "AT&T Station at Pattison Avenue" or "AT&T Sports Complex Station at Pattison Avenue" instead of totally eliminating that well-known terminal name...

Hopefully the MBTA names stations in a way to keep both the old name and new naming rights advertiser balanced...

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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby edbear » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:08 pm

There is one big minus to selling the naming rights. Users of the MBTA expect a reliable, safe way to get to their jobs, special events, visits, etc. While naming rights have been sold for just about every stadium or arena in this country, sometimes the crowds get out of hand either inside or out, but somehow that does not taint the holder of the naming rights. How would you like to have the naming rights to some MBTA station and hear or see on the news that pickpockets were rampant, there was a fire in the pit, a couple Green Line trains nudged each other and sent a couple hundred people to the hospital with minor injuries and hundreds of claims, the elevator has been broken for 42 days or there was a bomb scare or things like that. Every 10 minutes throughout the day WBZ would be broadcasting some very negative news with your company's name and the station.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:30 pm

Never thought of that, but the PR thing is a good point.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby Rbts Stn » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Would love to see Northeastern University buy the rights to Harvard Station.

And BU buy the rights to Boston College, on the B Line.

"This train is terminating at Boston University Boston College Station, All off!"
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby jaymac » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:31 pm

Such naming rights/wrongs would throw new metaphorical wrinkles into the Bean Pot.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby diburning » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:13 pm

Can railfans pool together money so that we can buy the naming rights to all the Boston University stations?

We could name them

Boston Univ Central / PAY YOUR DAMN FARE OR WALK

(I'm sick and tired of those people just jumping in the back doors and not paying. I PAID to ride that slow train!)


Warren St / IF YOUR NAME IS ______, GET OFF HERE, DOOFUS! (for my parents who sometimes miss stops)

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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby djimpact1 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:47 am

Nothing like having a possible revenue-generating idea completely fail:
http://bostonherald.com/business/media_ ... ing_rights

Any ideas as to what qualifications set by the MBTA would've yielded these pathetic results?
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby The EGE » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:23 am

Perhaps the potential bidders realized it wasn't worth their time. The State Street experiment a decade ago failed, and companies might have been afraid of a backlash. A locally entrenched company like Dunkies or TD may have done some quick research and found out that T riders would probably react very badly to the renaming of one of their beloved stops.

Also consider the largest employers, and that a lot of them. All the major universities, Prudential, MGH, Tufts Medical, MFA, etc. New Balance is getting its own commuter rail stop.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby dowlingm » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:46 am

Thanks for the faceplant Boston :D This comes up every so often in Toronto and it's good to have a nearby example to use.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby BandA » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Bad Idea. Why is it surprising when common sense prevails? Plus it dilutes the value of advertising.

Better idea: Sell advertising sponsorship of Charlie Card to defray cost.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby TomNelligan » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:34 am

Hopefully that stupid and offensive proposal for commercial naming is dead for good. But I really like Mr. BandA's suggestion for selling ads on Charlie Cards... you don't have to fill a whole side of the card with Charlie's smiling face.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby joshg1 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:17 pm

Reading about this today I wondered, Why pay to name a station when my firm can buy all the ad space for less? We would rename a station but no one would refer to the new name except to mock it. Forget station names, just sell ad space anywhere it fits. I remember the idea of wrapping CR cars in the air- different thread, but why not? Somewhat OT- remove the restrictions on advertising content, specifically alcohol and tobacco, the T needs the money.
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Re: MBTA may sell station names

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:03 pm

Also happy this did not go through.

If ad revenue is really that lucrative, why did they design the new Blue Line cars with such limited ad space? The old cars had the over head ads and these new ones lack that. I figured that like most media that ad revenue is down and those spaces were never going to be filled.
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