AT&T will soon be on one end of the line for SEPTA riders of the Broad Street Subway.
The cash-strapped agency approved a five-year deal yesterday with the telecommunications company to change the name of Pattison Station to AT&T Station in what could be the first of many naming rights agreements. The deal will net SEPTA about $3 million and the change is expected to be made later this summer, officials said.
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The deal was not without opposition from riders who argued the swap could lead to a slippery slope.
“I don’t mind specifically this one station, but this could open a Pandora’s box,” Jerry Silverman, former chair of SEPTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee, said. “There could be dozens and dozens of more stations with weird, obscene names.”
He added, “It’s extremely confusing when you have names of stations that are streets become the names of sodas and candy bars.”
SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey defended the move, saying it should not confuse riders since it is the last station on the line. He also said SEPTA is soliciting other offers.
“[But] It’s very premature to announce anything else,” he said.