Popular brands could soon buy naming rights to subway stations

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BROOKLYN (PIX11) – Times Square station, brought to you by Rolex.

Spring Street Stop, provided by Miracle Gro.

Sponsors could soon buy naming rights to subway stations if the MTA approves a new set of rules for renaming properties during next week’s meetings.

The move would be a much needed injection of revenue into the perpetually cash strapped authority.

“You got to be open, you got to be creative, times are changing, you can’t just keep the same thing as it was years ago,” said Reggie Myers of Crown Heights.

The MTA has already experimented with selling the naming rights to a station.  Back in 2009 they reached an agreement with Barclays to change the name at Atlantic Avenue for $4 million over the course of 20 years.  Most riders say they’re okay with the agreement as long as the MTA uses the money for the right things.

“Maybe put some air conditioning down in that subway,” said Larry Smith of Fort Greene.

Crown Heights resident Reggie Myers said, “I’d like to see them use it for what they’re supposed to be using it for: to make those trains come on time.”

Under the proposed rules the MTA would only accept renaming requests only from sponsors who have an iconic geographic or historic connection to a station that would be obvious to regular riders and the street names and numbers would have to remain part of the station name. But some are worried that adding sponsorships would be confusing to visitors.

Still every rider we spoke to agreed that by looking for other ways to raise revenue that don’t include fare hikes, the MTA is on the right track.