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Imagine giant Apple banners hanging from each side of the Forest Hills clock tower

Via John Keith comes news from the Boston Courant that the MBTA is beginning to put giant ad banners on the outsides of its stations:

The new banner ads range in size from 20 by 22 feet on the ventilation building across from the Hynes Convention Center to 180 by 20 feet on South Station's southerly facade.

The T is taking advantage of a Supreme Judicial Court ruling earlier this year that local sign ordinances don't apply to the MBTA, so the T is free to do whatever it wants.

The MBTA had sued Somerville and Melrose, which were trying to regulate signs on T property. The municipalities argued that the T's founding legislation exempted it from local regulations only related to its core mission of providing public transit, and that advertising did not fall under that.

The court, however, ruled that the exemption did apply to advertising, because the MBTA uses advertising to help pay for public transportation, so much so that local anti-giant-ad regulations "will have more than a negligible effect on action reasonably related to the MBTA's ability to fulfill its essential function."

To read the SJC opinion, click here, then search on a docket number of 10064 (no permanent URLs, alas).

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Comments

I suspect the latter -- the vent shaft across from The Other Side Cafe, on the Newbury Street ramp to the Pike.

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Though they might also mean the closed-off bridge behind the station that used to come out on Boylston. It's not directly across from Hynes, but you can see it out the front door if you look way left, past the fire station and Bar Code Dillon's. That would be a good place for an ad, too.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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The Forest Hills clock tower? I'd recommend Viagra.

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Why not "Forest Hilton" and "Apple Grove" at opposite ends of the Orange, or rather, the ING Line? Charles Schwab Station on the Red Line? Go for it, Grabauskas!

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If the Red Line gets a large banner, it should be an ad for the American Red Cross, encouraging people to donate blood. And the Apple banner is appropriate for the Orange Line, so people can compare apples and oranges.

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Everybody hated it, and they wisely abandoned the idea.

Some cities have tried selling naming rights to just about every station. The result is a ridiculous list of locations with long names and little or no indication as to what area they serve.

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California Navel Orange Line
JetBlue Line
Centrum Silver Line
Red Bull Line
T.F. Green Line

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-Blue Cross Blue Shield Line. Appropriately, they did an ad featuring the Aquarium a few years back, so the name/sponsorship would fit swimmingly.

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IMAGE(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/51/147608995_5b56524694.jpg)

I would ride that line back and forth ALL DAY.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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I know your being sarcastic, but I dont think its an entirely bad idea.

I dont want to see the actual name changed, but I wouldnt mind seeing whole stations having advertising rights being given to one company for extended periods of time.

For instance if Dunkin Donuts wants to sponsor Park Street it would be "Park Street, sponsored by Dunkin Donuts." All official signs would still have Park Street listed, but the station itself would be set up to advertise for DD. The sign outside can even say park Street, and have a space to put a logo on the right hand side.

Thats how people that run events handle it. They still are called whatever they are called, but then at the bottom they have a list of sponsors.

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Hell no. The MBTA needs money, but selling advertising rights to their station names is not the answer. By this logic, the city should sell naming rights to the streets, ie. "Boylston Street, sponsored by Citizen's Bank," and "AOL-Time Warner presents Massachusetts Avenue."

Although I suppose it would encourage the city to actually put up street signs.

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Dont companies already sponsor roadways? Im assuming its mostly highways that you can sponsor at this point, and mostly by the mile. The signs are tasteful and not too obtrusive. On the subway we already have ads up all over the place, and the T has actually already started selling ad space on full trolley cars/buses and have on a few occasions sold every ad in a subway station to a product for a month or so (Harvard Square station was decked out for Hairspray a while back.) Its not like they would need to install much, and things could actually be a little tamer ad wise if its only one company advertising instead of multiple. The difference between renaming a station and sponsoring a station are huge. Renaming is completely changing the name (think Fleet Center) versus sponsoring where the event/building/subway keeps its name.

I would be all for selling sponsorship rights on street signs. Worcester has little hearts on some of its signs on the right hand side, I have no clue why, and they dont take away from the signs, I can see the same thing with a corporate logo.

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I know no company would want its name associated with any of the streets around here, except maybe Newbury.

Interestingly, you have now introduced the question as to whether any company would want to attach it's name to a travesty of a stop like Copley or Arlington. Who would want to place their name on the Green Line when it is regularly awful as a streetcar or has recent accidents like the D Line? Or the Red Line with it's "signal problems", attempted suicides, and Longfellow issues.

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worst idea ever

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Explain to me why that is a worse idea then letting the MBTA slide into debt. Explain how its worse than longer waiting times, more crowded buses, and fares that will be too high for poor people/students/the eldery/and others with fixed incomes to get around by mass transit. Explain to me how its worse then the current stunted growth we are seeing with the MBTA where the blue line extension to Lynn/Salem keeps getting mentioned but never moves forward, the same thing with the Green line extension into Medford and the lack of rails in many parts of our urban core that are close enough to Boston to see the skyline clearly, but it still takes over an hour to get into the city. I understand it may not be your ideal, but it most surely is not the WORST idea ever.

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Yes, they should sell sponsorships. Sell, sell, sell!

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(insert migraine medication here ...)

During the winter, they could have cold/flu medications sponsor crowded and reliably delayed/off schedule buses.

There is great potential here.

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MasterCardAchusetts.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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...Rolex! Now set thirty minutes slow!

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After all, if it's 29 minutes slow, it's not actually late.

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