Is Branded Transit the Wave of the Future?

Imagine if you will…

It's the year 2025 and you've just arrived from New York City on the Bolt Bus. Tired from your trip, you get on the moving sidewalk and before you know it, you're at 30th Street Station, presented by Home Depot. You have a meeting in Mount Airy, so you take the Long John Silver's East regional rail train to the Krasno Krasno & Onwadinjo (Mount Airy) Station. Coming back through town after the meeting, you get out at 30th Street and trudge outside to walk to the Boston Market Frankford Line Station. On the train heading east, you pass Comcast Station, Comcast Station, Comcast Station, Comcast Station, and Comcast Station, finally getting off at Comcast Station. Only you realize that you meant to get off at the previous Comcast Station! You why Septa didn't insist on Comcast giving each of their stations a unique name. And if they're ever gonna phase out tokens. Hey, retinal scans are working great for MTA

30th Street Station, presented by Home Depot

As you probably heard last week, Market East Station is turning into Jefferson Station, as Septa signed a five-year $4M deal with Jefferson. This comes a few years after a deal with AT&T to rename the Pattison Station by the stadiums. And according to Philly.com, Suburban Station could be next.

We can see why people might be upset about these changes. When you call a place by a certain name for decades, it's hard to alter those old habits. We generally don't like change in Philadelphia on a good day, so this is a tough pill to swallow. Also, there's something distinctly sell-out-ish about selling off names of transit stations to the highest bidder. And who likes a sell-out, seriously?

On the other hand, Septa needs as much cash as they can get. Gas prices aren't getting any lower, and mass transit ridership should only increase in the years to come. So who are we to tell them not to rename their stations as they see fit? If it means that they can finally get to a point where most of their stations don't smell like urine, we're all about it. Let's just agree that there shouldn't be more than three Comcast stations