Rules Schmules: DART Still Looking to Sell the Naming Rights to its Stations

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DART
A while back, DART was toying with the idea for a while of auctioning off naming rights to some of its stations to the highest bidder. Such measures have proved to be relatively painless ways to generate cash for some transit systems in places like Philadelphia, and DART estimated it could bring in an extra $1 to $2 million over five years, a proposition that was particularly attractive in lean economic times.

That was until then-General Counsel Hyattye O. Simmons told the board last year that, while it seemed like a swell idea, DART's policy "excludes the use of business names, product names, and personal names unless the name is also a street name or a well-known destination." So renaming the Pearl Street Station for the Arts District earlier this year was okay. Naming, say, the West End Station for Camel Snus, is not.

But DART has not let the idea go.

"We're exploring the value of selling naming rights to some of our stations to generate revenue," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons told me by email yesterday. The board's revenue committee is getting an update today on a station naming sponsorship project.

As for what stations are being considered for corporate sponsorship and how much money the proposal expected to bring in, Lyons wasn't sure. "That's why we're doing the study," he wrote. It's unclear whether the renaming policy still stands; I'm looking into that.

The changes could be coming very soon. According the the committee agenda, vendor selection begins in October.

Update at 10:36 a.m: The renaming policy's still in place. "We'll look at the needed policy revisions as part of the financial feasibility study," Lyons said.


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9 comments
d-may
d-may

Portland had a number of stations sponsored. I though it was a great idea. Imagine "Inwood/Love Field Airport station, sponsored by Southwest Airlines", or "Forest Station, sponsored by Texas Instruments". 

 

Why not?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I happened to read that DART is also considering advertisement at its bus shelters.  They should do it and use the money to clean up stops like the one on Commerce St. in front of the Downtown Safety Patrol headquarters, since AT&T doesn't seem to be interested in doing so.  Its employees must walk past the urine smell and on the sticky sidewalk on the way to the campus.

Guest
Guest

I'm totally against this, but... DART wants to sell station names... but DART policy doesn't allow DART to sell station names...

 

Maybe DART and DART could work together so DART will change it's policy so that DART can then go and sell the station names?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Philadelphia is mentioned in this article and an amusing thought came to me.  SEPTA officials are considering a $3 million offer from AT&T to rename the Broad and Pattison stop (at the Sports Complex in South Philly) to "AT&T Station".  Thus, you would get off the Broad Street Subway at AT&T Station to go to game at either Lincoln Financial Field, Wells Fargo Center, or Citizens Bank Park.

 

Connie Mack is most certainly turning over in his grave.

DowntownResident
DowntownResident

"DART's policy" precludes the selling of naming right? Well holy shit, if it's policy it may as well be carved in to stone tablets. You know how you change policy, you send an email out that starts out something like "Hey guys, you know that pointless policy? We're changing it...."

icowrich
icowrich

 @DowntownResident It's not really pointless.  A station should describe where you are near, hence "Arts District" or "University of Dallas" station.  If a name does that, then DART can take money for it.  If not, well, that would confuse riders.

DowntownResident
DowntownResident

 @icowrich "where you are near" is relative until you have a frame of reference, which is what maps are for. If I've never been to Dallas the Arts District is no more informative than Pizza Hut Park, which most residents of Dallas actually know where that is despite its name having no reference to place. In either case a visitor would need a map or to ask somebody who already knows the context.

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