Chicago Will Auction Off Naming Rights to Rail Lines and Stations

Chicago's public transit system may soon have a "FedEx Red Line" or a "Walmart 51st Street station."

Chicago's public transit system may soon have a "FedEx Red Line" or a "Walmart 51st Street station." The Chicago Transit Authority is auctioning off naming rights to just about everything.

CTA President Richard Rodriguez announced Wednesday that the perennially underfunded transit agency will go out for bids soon to sell naming rights to just about anything it owns and for which others are willing to pay big money in exchange for the public exposure.

That includes rail lines and stations, bus routes, retail concessions, and special events. Even the venerable CTA logo will be on the auction block, Rodriguez said.

This seems to be prompted, at least in part, by Apple's recent overhaul of a CTA subway station near one of its stores.

So what do we think? Is this just more annoying corporatization of the public sphere? Or is this the lifeline our struggling public transit systems need? Probably both.

via Michael Belanger / Flickr

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