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Metro Considers Station Branding to Boost Revenue

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, at 09:55AM
portland streetcar Russell Bernice

This Portland Streetcar bears a subtle ad for local Bridgeport Brewing Company.

How far is too far when it comes to corporate advertising? Cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Miami are tackling difficult financial times by selling their stations in the name of progress.

Is L.A.'s Metro next on the branding bandwagon? According to what they told Curbed LA, naming rights of their stations will be discussed at an upcoming board meeting in March.

In December, the financially-strapped Chicago Transit Authority took a $4 million offer from computer giant Apple to renovate its North and Clybourn station. In return, Apple received all rights to lease the plaza area of the station for 10 years, as well as advertising rights and the potential to purchase naming rights if the CTA decides to sell them.

Philadelphia adopted a similar policy after AT&T paid $3 million for the naming rights to the city's former Pattison Avenue Station.

Downtown anxiously awaits the arrival of the L.A. Streetcar, which was modeled after Portland's successful streetcar system. Portland Streetcar, which was initiated in 2001, features corporate sponsorship not only for its stops, but also for individual cars.

Portland-based companies can shell out $500 a month to become a stop sponsor, which grants a company naming rights as well as a four to six word "audible announcement" at the sponsored stop.

Is the possible naming of Metro stations and L.A. Streetcar stops a step in the right direction for public transit, or is it taking corporate branding too far?

<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/4459565/">Is corporate sponsorship of Metro and L.A. Streetcar Stations a good or a bad thing for Downtown?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/">survey software</a></span>

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