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CTA To Offer Corporate Naming Rights On 11 L Stations

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Red Line Train

A CTA Red Line train near Belmont. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The trend started with ballparks and stadiums, and now it will be happening with several CTA L stops.

The Chicago Transit Authority will offer exclusive naming rights to 11 stations, giving companies the opportunity to tack their name with some of the more popular stops on the system.

The Chicago Transit Authority issued “requests for proposals” seeking naming rights and sponsorships for the O’Hare, Fullerton, Belmont, Addison, Chicago, Grand/State, 95th, North/Clybourn, Midway, Ashland 63rd and 79th stations.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

In addition to naming rights, the sponsor’s name and logo will be placed on CTA system maps as well as exclusive advertising within the station. At stations, signage will show the corporate name first, followed by the existing station name, the CTA said in a news release.

The idea of naming rights surfaced 18 months ago. The CTA also reopened a rebuilt North/Clybourn Red Line station financed by Apple Computers, which was accomplished without renaming the station. An Apple store is located right outside the station and when it reopened there were Apple ads inside the station. It’s now unofficially known as the Apple Store stop.

Interested companies can find more information at http://www.transitchicago.com/partnership.

The transit agency is looking for ways to increase revenues amid tight budgets.

CTA President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that the agency has found the $80 million it needs to avert fare hikes and service cuts the rest of this year — without labor concessions.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, CTA had threatened to impose fare hikes, service cuts or both July 1 without an agreement.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Having no labor agreement for six months alone saved $30 million, but CTA also shaved costs in a number of other ways: $4 million on snow removal; $10 million by first freezing, and then “slowing down” hiring; $7 million by lower-than-anticipated injury settlements and savings in material, fuel and power purchases totaling $13.2 million.

Ridership is up so much that CTA has collected $5 million in unanticipated fares. But Claypool says it is mostly one-time savings.

“Everything in the trick bag is gone,” he said.

And that’s not how RTA Finance Chair Dwight Magalis likes budgets balanced. He said CTA should not assume it will get $17.9 million in higher-than-anticipated sales tax revenue

“I don’t recall looking at that as part of a budget cut,” he said.

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