Apple strategically funded an overhaul of a dilapidated Chicago subway station to the tune of $4 million recently, exposing what seems like a possible solution to the MTA's fare-raising financial indigence. The Chicago station's neighborhood is home to a newly opened Apple store. Seeking similar corporate collaborations could, as Second Avenue Sagas noted, do wonders for the transit system here in NYC.
If businesses and developers that reaped the benefits from subway extensions—like the 2nd Avenue line—were given opportunities to chip in, the MTA might not be facing an $800 million budget gap. And who knows? We might not be battered by the reverb via $104 MetroCards. Oh, who are we kidding, the MTA would find a way to waste the revenue somehow.
Apple's contribution also bought it the exclusive rights to advertise within the station, which they fully embraced. According to the Chicago Tribune, "From the moment you push through the turnstile, Apple ads beam at you, as bright as searchlights." Apple also expressed a desire to call it the "Apple Red Line Stop" (sorta like how Barclays is spending $4 million over 20 years for naming rights to the Atlantic Avenue station?). How much ad-washing in the name of a better transit system would New Yorkers be willing to handle? The Target ads engulfing the 6 train this summer didn't seem to ruffle too many feathers, and Gothamist commenter stephanie1 articulated the pro-private funding attitude. "I'd totally ride the Target train, or whoever else wants to give the MTA a crapload of money for advertising." Whatever pays the bills, man.