TTC sells naming rights

TTC station naming rights are officially up for grabs

The TTC has approved a new 12-year contract with Pattison Outdoor Advertising that could eventually see the sale of naming rights to subway stations. The TTC does, however, retain sole discretion when it comes to the names of its stations, and any sale would be subject to authorization by those City Councillors who sit on the TTC commission. The Commission is unlikely "to take a name that has geographic significance and historical significance and throw it out," according to the TTC General Secretary Vince Rodo. "We might allow Dundas/Ryerson or Dundas, sponsored by Ryerson, But again, that would come to the commission for approval.

That doesn't sound that bad, does it? As many have noted today, Montreal already does this with its subway stations that are located on or near university campuses (e.g. Berri-UQAM), and if anything such a change would help rather than hinder with wayfaring. But, of course, given the financial difficulties faced by the system, it's not unreasonable to worry that the TTC might jump on a less than noble-sounding sponsorship proposition.

As part of the new contract, which is worth a whopping $324-million ($27-million per year), the number of surface vehicles that can be covered in wrapped ads increases from 35 to 50. Station domination schemes, however, remain limited to the four stations already approved for such treatment: Union, St. George, Eglinton and Finch. The back of every TTC bus will now also be available for vinyl ad treatments, up from the previous number of 50.

So what's the verdict? Will the TTC be able to keep it classy and also make some desperately needed money off the sale of station naming rights? Or would these be better left untouched altogether, regardless of the potential to generate revenue?

Original photo by Bob Martuch on Flickr


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