Metro to consider sponsored rail lines, stations to raise money

- Metro's board of directors will meet this week to discuss the possible sale of commercial naming rights for Metrorail stations, reported WAMU transportation reporter and FOX 5 contributor, Martin Di Caro.

According to Di Caro, documents show that the board is interested in sponsored naming rights for four stations: Metro Center, L'Enfant Plaza, Navy Yard-Ballpark, and Gallery Place.

"It will take a vote of the Metro board to allow this to happen and it's not going to be popular," Di Caro said adding that during a 2012 station naming discussion, riders didn’t want brands attached to iconic stations.

During that discussion, Metro also said the majority of riders opposed commercial station naming and preferred a brief location name that served as a wayfinder.

Other digital advertising is also being planned including adding additional digital screens to station across the system. Advertising is projected to earn $24 million for the transit system which is only a fraction of the $1.8 million budget.

New York and Philadelphia saw some success when station naming rights were made available, Di Caro. Boston, on the other hand, tried to sell naming rights to nine stations and received no offers they considered enticing.


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