January 9th, 2012

The Problem with Naming Transit Stations

By Eric Jaffe
The Atlantic

Early last year, officials from the MBTA, Boston’s transit agency, decided to consider selling naming rights for stations as a way to ease a budget deficit of roughly $150 million. In July the MBTA sent out a request for proposals from a project consultant, and last month it announced that IMG Worldwide would conduct a thorough analysis of the naming rights market.

That news didn’t sit well with Commercial Alert, a consumer protection group that objects to the plan’s “crass commercialism.”

In a letter to Richard Davey, former general manager of the MBTA and now secretary of the state Department of Transportation, representatives of Commercial Alert say the idea of naming T stations “undermines the integrity” of the city’s public transportation system:

Americans already face a deluge of advertising everywhere they go. In the historic city of Boston, we urge you to protect citizens from having to face still more advertising for the corporations you propose to name T stations after. We ask that you shield citizens from confronting the names of products and brands that are not only a nuisance and drain on our culture, but often injurious to our health.

Read more: http://bit.ly/wDKC0d

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