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Thanks, Jarrett, but we're not really considering it, just pondering it on the blog. I agree that re: names, less is more. In St. Louis our hockey arena station name kept changing, so in the system the station name is now "Civic Center" and (I assume) ever thus it will remain, no matter how many corporations buy the arena. No sense confusing people.

I really dig your blog! I too came to my love of transit through my experience living in Portland (and oh, how I miss those bike commutes!). I look forward to reading in the future!


Yeah, thanks Jarrett, love your blog too. I agree with Jennifer, naming rights of stations has to be a judicious affair...there are certain stations that could have naming potential (I'm thinking our Stadium station as one regarding the Cardinals), but any naming should be meaningful to riders or its loses something.

Keep up the good work!


It appears that LA has gotten rid of most of the annoying and superfluous slashes in station names recently, which is a great relief. There are still a few oddities lurking there though, like the 7th St/Metro Center station. I'm not entirely sure what "Metro Center" is, other than a similarly shaped station in DC, and the train operators universally refer to the station as "7th and Metro", which makes no sense at all.


New York has pretty much avoided this, as its sports-related stops are given largely generic names:

The 161st-Yankee Stadium stop on the 4 (strangely the stop under it on the D is officially named 161st-River Ave.) is so named because it was thought Yankee Stadium would never be closed, but now its just assumed the Yankees would never go so far as to change the name of their ballpark. Metro-North's new station is labeled Yankees-East 153rd Street, choosing to not even acknowledge the new stadium for which it was built.

The Willets Point-Shea Stadium stop on the 7 was obviously named for the stadium that was not named for a company but a great man, though its name is now Mets-Willets Point because the city would not allow the name CitiField in its subway system. The Long Island Rail Road stop also uses the Mets-Willets Point name for the same reason. The names should actually be "Flushing Meadows Park," but that's a debate for a different time.

Finally, the Staten Island Railway stop at the Staten Island Yankees home stadium is simply called Stadium, refusing to name its corporate sponsor.

Amazingly, Madison Square Garden is not referenced in the name of any New York subway or railroad stop, mostly because everyone knows it was built on top of Penn Station.


This reminds me of the Delta Center Trax station in Salt Lake becoming "Arena" after Energy Solutions got the naming rights.


In the case of L.A., the namesake fell into disuse, though station signs still say Tom Bradley and there is a plaque put in to honor his memory. Bradley, who died in 1998, has several honors named after him. International travelers will know him from the LAX terminal bearing his name.

There are a few honorific stations named for people, but people will generally refer to the street rather than the name. The Watts station is 103rd Street, though it is named for late Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Even lesser known is the busiest station in Metro Rail, 7th Street Metro Center, being named for late Congressman Julian Dixon. The Wilshire/Vermont subway station was named posthumously for Dr. John Dyer, a former director of the transit agency.

The one namesake that gained traction, so to speak, was Rosa Parks Station. It's simpler to say her name than the more verbose Imperial/Wilmington Station -- transfer point for the Blue and Green lines.

John W

There's been a bit of name-creep in both Montreal (from Longueuil to the ridiculous mouthful of Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke) and Vancouver (from Stadium to Stadium-Chinatown), though the impetus in those instances is to emphasise nearby destinations. Obviously pointless in both cases and somewhat patronising - Longueuil is the only station on the south shore, serving a large hinterland of bus routes, while the addition to the name is for a satellite campus of a university whose main campus is a two-hour drive away. As for Chinatown, it's been there for a century or so and people quite happily found it without its name being part of the station name during the first two decades of SkyTrain operation.

That trend continues in some of the station names on Vancouver's Canada Line - Oakridge-41st Avenue (a redundant pairing as one is a neighbourhood and the other a cross street, either of which would be sufficient to identify the station), Langara-49th Avenue (a college and a cross street), and the truly pointless Yaletown-Roundhouse. Yaletown is a well-known, relatively small downtown neighbourhood - there is no necessity for adding the name of a community centre (housed in a former locomotive turntable) as there are no other stations to confuse it with, nor are there likely to be for decades.

Nothing quite matches the WTF? factor of "Vancouver City Centre" station, however. It was originally named Robson (after the main drag in downtown Vancouver), but despite another station located a block away and other stations downtown, it is officially the city centre, apparently. Handy for anyone who might otherwise be confused about where downtown is (or, indeed, which city's downtown that might be!) but sounds horribly provincial otherwise - is there any city remotely near Vancouver's size that has a similarly named station? What do people in Vancouver call it - do they actually use that name? (They can't even abbreviate it to VCC as there's already a station with that name.) Of course, they could have called it 'Granville' if there had been the foresight to have the two lines intersect at one transfer station, but that's a whole other issue...

Chris Stefan

In Seattle the South Lake Union Streetcar has sponsored station names which makes it really confusing to know where you are based on the station announcements as the station is only identified by the sponsor's name. Even more confusing is in some cases the sponsor of the Northbound stop is different than the sponsor of the Southbound stop. While the sponsor often has a presence within a few blocks of their named station it still isn't helpful as South Lake Union has been almost entirely redeveloped in the past decade. Even worse is in some cases either the sponsor has changed since the line opened or the sponsor has changed names. The only stop where the sponsor name is also the most logical for the station is the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center station. Hopefully this nonsense isn't repeated for any future transit lines in the area. At the very least the station should have a meaningful name based on a street or landmark as well.

For the light rail line that opened last year most of the station names are based on the neighborhood: SODO, Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach. Two are named after nearby landmarks: Stadium (near the baseball and football stadiums) and Airport (next to the airport). The stations in the 20 year old bus tunnel kept their original names: Convention Place, Westlake, University Street, Pioneer Square, International District/Chinatown. Though the last one was renamed to reflect a renaming of the neighborhood, which was originally called "Chinatown", then "International District" and now "International District - Chinatown". One station did end up with a real mouthful of a name: Tukwila/International Boulevard Station, reflecting both the city it is just barely located in and the major street near the station.

Originally Sound Transit was planning on using street names for all of the stations except for the already existing ones in the bus tunnel and the airport: Royal Brougham, Lander Street, Beacon Avenue, McClelland, Edmunds, Othello, Henderson, and S. 154th.


Came to this post via the recent Transport Politic post on the same issue that you commented on. I thought immediately of the verbose and thus annoying announcements on the Portland Streetcar:

Next station is NW 11th and Couch. Sponsored by Indigo 12 West.

But at least they have the decency to tell you where you are first, and then who bought the sponsorship. The notion of calling the stop Indigo 12 West is absurd, even if they did sponsor it -- everyone knows NW 11th and Couch is the Powell's stop! :)


Alexis - I immediately thought the same thing, too. Although the first thing that came to my mind was the Bridgeport Brewing 'stop' along the Portland Streetcar line on NW Northrup.

Frankly, I'm amazed more transit systems haven't gone on and done things this way...

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There are a few honorific stations named for people, but people will generally refer to the street rather than the name. The Watts station is 103rd Street, though it is named for late Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Even lesser known is the busiest station in Metro Rail, 7th Street Metro Center, being named for late Congressman Julian Dixon. The Wilshire/Vermont subway station was named posthumously for Dr. John Dyer, a former director of the transit agency.

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