As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Amid a severe financial shortfall, some Metro leaders are calling on policy changes, that would allow them to sell naming rights of certain stations. Currently this type of sale is prohibited.
At the Metro Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, they were expected to discuss this proposed policy change. The change would have the potential to bring in millions of dollars to the system. Metro is expected to look most closely at Navy Yard, L'Enfant Plaza, Metro Center, and Gallery Place.
Currently advertising revenue is just a drop in the bucket, bringing in approximately $24 million, equivalent to just 1.3 percent of the total operating budget. This revenue is greatly overshadowed by funds from "Passenger Fares" ($713 million) and "Jurisdictional Contribution" ($980 Million).
Metro leaders have pointed towards systems in New York City and Philadelphia, as places that have successfully implemented such a policy. In New York, transit leaders sold their naming rights for the Atlantic Avenue Station for $4 million over 20 years. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, two stations have been re-named for a total of $9 million.
The big question though is whether riders want this policy change. In 2012, a survey was distributed by Metro, and found that more than half of the riders did not want naming rights to be for sale.
So, what do you think? Is it a good idea for Metro to sell naming rights?