Markets in everything

Bosses at Washington's cash-strapped public transportation service are mulling selling "naming rights" for Metro stations as a way of filling a budget gap, a spokesman said Friday.

"We're looking at a possible $72 million dollar shortfall in our budget for the upcoming year, and so we're looking for creative ways to try to close that deficit," Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel told AFP.

"One idea would be station naming rights," where corporate entities buy the right to have their brand associated with one of Metro's 86 stations.

There are precedents:

Philadelphia has sold telecoms giant AT&T the rights to a station for $3 million, and Barclays can append its name to a station in Brooklyn, New York after buying the naming rights reportedly for $4 million for 20 years.

In Washington, Metro thinks selling station naming rights will help to raise around two million dollars.

For 86 stations, that doesn't seem very good to me.  The full story is here and for the pointer I thank Daniel Lippman.  There are now jokes like "Big-Macpherson Square" stop and the like.


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