Cuomo wants to fund subway fixes with $600K corporate station naming rights

Posted On Fri, July 28, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, July 28, 2017 By In Policy, Transportation

Subway image via WikiCommons

On Tuesday the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system. As 6sqft reported, the MTA board has been scrambling for new ways to pay for the plan amid increasing dissatisfaction with fare hikes, even as the agency says they’ll need to raise fares by roughly 4 percent every other year as part of their long-term financial plan. According to Crain’s, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke Thursday about a possible corporate sponsorship alternative: For $600,000, a donor can publicly “adopt” a station to help pay for amenities and improved cleaning; for $250,000, a “Partnership Council” membership would help raise money for improvements without the donor’s name attached to the station.

So what’s the appeal for corporate sponsors? In addition to the public shoutout, businesses get the satisfaction of knowing they’ll have a hand in strengthening a crumbling transportation system. Cuomo told the Association for a Better New York, a business group, “Businesses can enhance those stations, enhance maintenance, enhance security, enhance aesthetics. We want to bring the private sector in as a full partner.”

Though the plan is still in its early stages, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota explained how the strategy could avoid the red-headed stepchild problem as it might translate to subway station adoption: A company that sponsors a highly trafficked Manhattan station might also be asked to take responsibility for residential neighborhoods “outside the center.””All people in the city deserve the best subway service possible.”

Cuomo also appealed to President Donald Trump to deliver on a $1 trillion infrastructure program he promised during his campaign. New York and New Jersey need the federal government to come through on a promise to provide half the cost of the $20 billion Gateway Project that will build additional tunnels under the Hudson River. “Gateway is probably the most critical infrastructure project on the East Coast,” Cuomo said. “If those existing tunnels go down, it will be a catastrophe.”

[Via Crain’s]

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