Boston Transit Authority proposes selling naming rights for stations
Subway stations across Boston could soon carry the names of corporate sponsors — think JetBlue Airport Station — much like the naming rights auctioned for sports stadiums, making the MBTA among the nation’s first transit agencies to apply corporate monikers to places woven into city lore.
Executives from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority presented a plan Tuesday to the agency’s financing board to begin selling naming rights for 11 stations, including Downtown Crossing, Park Street, and Back Bay. Ultimately, the T would endeavor to put station names up for bid systemwide, making it, along with Chicago’s transit authority, one of only two in the nation with such a plan.
Companies and major local institutions would append their names to hallowed subway depots — next stop, Emerson Boylston Station — and they would appear on signs inside and outside of stations and on MBTA websites and maps. No contracts have been signed yet, but JetBlue and Emerson have expressed interest in adding their names to stations.
The perennially cash-strapped T, which is set to raise fares Sunday, could garner $18.4 million total a year if 11 prominent stations found suitors. Over eight years, that would translate into $147 million.