Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

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Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby R3 Passenger » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:28 pm

This is the third time I have seen this happen, so I am making a generic topic about this. For reference, I am including links to the previous topics below:

Suburban Station to be Renamed "Verizon Station?"
Pattison Ave BSS Station Renamed to "AT&T Station."

I have just stumbled on an article with photographic evidence that SEPTA is going to be renaming Market East Station to "Jefferson Station."

"Is SEPTA's Market East Station becoming 'Jefferson Station?'"

Zack Seward, Technical.ly Philly wrote:Image

A tipster sent us the above photo of a printed-up SEPTA transit map.

What’s new? Market East has been replaced with “Jefferson Station,” complete with the new logo of nearby Thomas Jefferson University.

“It’s nothing we are ready or able to talk about publicly,” SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams told Technical.ly Philly.


At first, I thought, "Ha ha! Nice Photoshop hoax!" But then, there is this picture at the bottom of the article showing freshly printed SEPTA rail signs

Image

Now I am starting to think that this may actually be happening, and renaming stations for money on SEPTA (I wanted to use a more less-polite term to describe this, but I digress) is going to become more commonplace.

In my opinion, it kind of defeats the purpose of a transit map if you name stations after the highest bidder rather than the neighborhoods those stations serve.

Discuss.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby loufah » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:25 pm

R3 Passenger wrote:In my opinion, it kind of defeats the purpose of a transit map if you name stations after the highest bidder rather than the neighborhoods those stations serve.
I deplore the naming of stops after unrelated businesses (Pattison -> AT&T). But a transit map that's not geographically accurate is not (or should not) be used by a traveler to decide which stop is closest to where they want to go. The map is only useful to determine when the train they're on is approaching their stop, or whether the stop is a transfer point or a skip- or peak-only stop.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:27 pm

Everyone: To me this is just another way to confuse passengers...I could live with "Jefferson Station at Market East"
but to change the name outright and get people used to a new name...a tough call along with the recent news about
possibly changing Suburban Station's name...

If this name change is true SEPTA should not do what was done with the AT&T/Pattison Avenue BSL Station which was
to remove any and all mention of the name "Pattison Avenue" going as far to remove signs directing riders to the N or S
sides of that roadway - which as most here know is wide - six lanes including turning lanes - and can be tough to cross
on foot at busy times...I can't see SEPTA removing all referral to paralleling Market Street in the ME station vicinity...

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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:38 am

loufah wrote:I deplore the naming of stops after unrelated businesses (Pattison -> AT&T).


So do I, but each named station means millions of dollars for SEPTA - dollars SEPTA needs. Come up with $3MM, and SEPTA can rename it Loufah.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby glennk419 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:06 am

Clearfield wrote:
loufah wrote:I deplore the naming of stops after unrelated businesses (Pattison -> AT&T).


So do I, but each named station means millions of dollars for SEPTA - dollars SEPTA needs. Come up with $3MM, and SEPTA can rename it Loufah.


I'm all for wrapping of transit vehicles for advertising revenue (and actually adds a little variety to the rolling stock) but arbitrarily renaming train stations is confusing at least and downright disruptive at worst, especially to any out of town riders who don't know the geography of the City well enough to know that Joe's Hot Dog Cart Station is located at 11th and Market. Are these stations actually owned by SEPTA or the City and since public tax dollars help fund the construction and maintenance of said stations, why does SEPTA have unilateral authority to do this?

This rampant renaming activity could be likened to the transit version of the world's oldest profession.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby loufah » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:32 am

So SEPTA needs money. How far will they go for it? Can taxi and limo groups pay SEPTA to rename Airport to be Tinicum Marsh, or even to stop providing service to it? Can competitors pay SEPTA not to provide service to UPS?
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby loufah » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:46 am

This year, SEPTA has a $1.33 billion operating budget and a $572 million capital budget. Is spending time to sell naming rights (which, if AT&T Station is any guide, bring in just $1M/year) even worth it? How much does SEPTA pay its marketing staff to prowl around for rare deals like these? How much does it cost to print and distribute new signage?
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby zebrasepta » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:05 pm

wow really SEPTA? renaming a station for a minuscule amount of money just to confuse passengers?
and i guess there'd be a McDonalds Station next then a T-Mobile station, etc...
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:23 pm

I just got confirmation of the Jefferson change from inside.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:30 pm

And, (Having absolutely NO inside information), it wouldn't surprise me to see Comcast buy the rights to Suburban especially in light of their new office tower project.

But I've been wrong LOTS of times!
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:59 pm

glennk419 wrote:
Clearfield wrote:
loufah wrote:I deplore the naming of stops after unrelated businesses (Pattison -> AT&T).


So do I, but each named station means millions of dollars for SEPTA - dollars SEPTA needs. Come up with $3MM, and SEPTA can rename it Loufah.


I'm all for wrapping of transit vehicles for advertising revenue (and actually adds a little variety to the rolling stock) but arbitrarily renaming train stations is confusing at least and downright disruptive at worst, especially to any out of town riders who don't know the geography of the City well enough to know that Joe's Hot Dog Cart Station is located at 11th and Market. Are these stations actually owned by SEPTA or the City and since public tax dollars help fund the construction and maintenance of said stations, why does SEPTA have unilateral authority to do this?

This rampant renaming activity could be likened to the transit version of the world's oldest profession.


Glenn: I agree with you here - people new to the system or not familiar with SEPTA Regional Rail would be the people most
confused by this name change..."Jefferson Station at Market East" would be a long name keeping the "Market East" title - OK (begrudgingly) by me...

Clearfield: The name "Comcast Suburban Station" would be the only way I would accept if this proposed name change gets approval...

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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:12 am

MACTRAXX wrote:I'm all for wrapping of transit vehicles for advertising revenue (and actually adds a little variety to the rolling stock) but arbitrarily renaming train stations is confusing at least and downright disruptive at worst, especially to any out of town riders who don't know the geography of the City well enough to know that Joe's Hot Dog Cart Station is located at 11th and Market. Are these stations actually owned by SEPTA or the City and since public tax dollars help fund the construction and maintenance of said stations, why does SEPTA have unilateral authority to do this?


The PA legislature wants SEPTA to generate as much revenue as they can to offset the subsidies. SEPTA had to split the AT&T money with the city. I expect that the same money split arrangement will happen with Jefferson. I do not see that happening with suburban, as it is owned solely by SEPTA and was built by the PRR not the city.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:13 am

MACTRAXX wrote:Clearfield: The name "Comcast Suburban Station" would be the only way I would accept if this proposed name change gets approval...


I agree!
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:58 am

glennk419 wrote: This rampant renaming activity could be likened to the transit version of the world's oldest profession.


That is an excellent one-line summary of the situation.

Communication and clarity have to be the basis of station naming in any transit system. When every major stop becomes Your Name Here Station, visitors and occasional riders will have to remember what's where instead of simply looking for Xth Street. But in a society where it seems that nothing isn't for sale at the right price, it's probably the direction in which we're going.

Here in Boston the MBTA briefly considered selling off the identity of a few major subway stations, which would have become Your Name Here Central Square Station or whatever (keeping the geographical location as part of the name), but even that was thankfully tabled in the face of widespread negative response from riders and the press. What they did instead was sell station sponsorships whereby all of the ads in a station are for one business, while retaining the historical name. Visually, that actually looks pretty good -- there have been some clever design packages in the sponsorships -- and no one has to wonder where they are.
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Re: Sales of SEPTA Station Naming Rights

Postby Clearfield » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:08 am

TomNelligan wrote:That is an excellent one-line summary of the situation.

Communication and clarity have to be the basis of station naming in any transit system. When every major stop becomes Your Name Here Station, visitors and occasional riders will have to remember what's where instead of simply looking for Xth Street. But in a society where it seems that nothing isn't for sale at the right price, it's probably the direction in which we're going.

Here in Boston the MBTA briefly considered selling off the identity of a few major subway stations, which would have become Your Name Here Central Square Station or whatever (keeping the geographical location as part of the name), but even that was thankfully tabled in the face of widespread negative response from riders and the press. What they did instead was sell station sponsorships whereby all of the ads in a station are for one business, while retaining the historical name. Visually, that actually looks pretty good -- there have been some clever design packages in the sponsorships -- and no one has to wonder where they are.


I can't speak for Boston and/or Massachusetts, but the Pennsylvania state legislature is openly hostile to public transit, especially in the cities that provide nearly all of the tax revenues that run the state. There is a mandate to obtain advertising revenues in any way possible to reduce state subsidies. The world's oldest profession might be politicians!
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