Should Toronto Put the Bus Stop Up For Sale?

<p>A transportation official in Toronto is hoping to convince colleagues that the system should allow advertisers to buy naming rights for transit stops in the city as a way of increasing revenue, but many remain opposed.</p>
April 30, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The Toronto Transit Commission is studying the idea, though most councillors on the commission have not looked well upon it.

Torontonians feel such attachment to their subway stations that a magazine covering public-space issues there claims to have sold more than 100,000 buttons printed with the distinctive tile patterns in the TTC's stations.

Transit commission vice-chairman Joe Mihevc has called the notion of selling naming rights "absolutely outrageous," a move toward "corporatizing our important public spaces."

In Ottawa, advertising revenue brings OC Transpo "$3 million-plus" a year, Mr. Curran said, and he'd like to add to that.

"Transit companies across Canada have to look at innovative ways of raising money," Mr. Curran said, adding that naming rights has an "interesting appeal" for many companies.

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Published on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 in The Ottawa Citizen
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