Next stop…Coca-Cola station: cash-strapped TTC may sell naming rights

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is currently exploring the possibility of selling naming rights of stations.

On Thursday, Toronto city councillor and TTC board member Stephen Holyday, passed a motion at the TTC board meeting, “seeking to review naming rights and sponsorship review opportunities,” which could also include selling the naming rights for stations, transit lines and the TTC’s rolling stock.

“I feel it is important to first look within at all the revenue options before we seek more money from riders, tax payers and other orders of government to cover rising costs.” Holyday said in a Tweet.

In an interview with CTV News Toronto, Holyday pointed to the financial gain venues like Scotiabank Arena has garnered, thanks to opportunities that included  “a 20-year naming rights deal worth $800 million.”

At the beginning of April, the TTC increased youth and adult fares for both cash and pay as-you-go PRESTO by 1o cents.

“Revenue from this fare increase, in addition to the City of Toronto’s proposed subsidy to the TTC of $958.7 million, will help us ensure the system is reliable, safe and accessible for all Torontonians,” the TTC said in a press release.

The idea of selling TTC naming rates is not new. In 2011, the TTC announced plans to incorporate the names of corporate brands into subway stops, but it never came to fruition.

Over the years, branding deals for subway stops have occurred in  major cities around the world, including Philadelphia’s NRG station (formerly AT&T station) which has sold its naming rights twice over the last decade.

The TTC will report back on the matter at its board meeting scheduled to take place in June.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO