Metrolinx to sell naming rights for railway stations, waiting areas, parking lots

Posted on Aug 1, 2019 by Brad McCabe
The Ford government loves to say that they’re open for business, and a new proposal for Toronto area transit shows it’s more than just a slogan.


The province, via Metrolinx, is getting set to seek business partners interested in purchasing naming rights for GO Train stations, in-train quiet zones, bathrooms, waiting areas and more.

“When the Premier talks about growing the government’s revenues without new taxes, this is the sort of thing he’s talking about,” said a government source with knowledge of the program.

Documents obtained by the Sun show the agency in charge of the regional commuter system is looking at selling off naming rights over five to 10 year periods.

These naming rights could include individual stations, parking lots and more according to the documents — “quiet zone, bathrooms, bike zones, waiting zones, etc.”

Naming rights would be available on five to 10 year terms and would vary according to whether the station was new or existing.

Brand new stations could have its entire name purchased outright — the Toronto SunGO Station, for example.

Existing stations would retain part of their existing names, such as the Toronto Sun Oakville Station.

The documents suggest Metrolinx estimates it could charge $50,000 to $500,000 per station per year, depending on ridership and other factors.

Beginning Aug. 1, Metrolinx will engage in a 60-day consultation period that will seek initial interest in five stations: Whitby, Pickering, Exhibition, Clarkson and Oakville.

While the selling off of naming rights is sure to anger some, a government source said that the Ford PCs are trying to make sure that taxpayers are not left footing the whole bill.

“We are looking at ways to bring more money into government to help keep taxes and fees low for taxpayers and transit users,” the source said.

Will GO Train and Bus riders really care if their stations are named for companies if their fares don’t increase? Not likely.

From arenas to theatres, the public is used to names being sold off and they adapt accordingly.

The Air Canada Centre became Scotiabank Arena in the blink of an eye, and no one cared.

So will they care if Mimico Station becomes HSBC Station?

Probably not.

Article by Brian Lilley as posted on Toronto Sun.
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