Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The cash-strapped mass transit system would receive up to $4 million to refurbish inside and out of

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Will riders of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line trains be pulling into the Apple iTrain station any time soon? That's the question being posed after CTA officials confirmed they were in talks with Apple over the technological giant's plans to fork over millions to refurbish the North/Clybourn station, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The cash-strapped mass transit system would receive up to $4 million to refurbish inside and out of the Lincoln Park station at 1599 N. Clybourn Ave., officials said. In exchange, Apple would receive first choice of advertising at the subway station, and it would have rights of first refusal of naming rights "if that was something the CTA were to offer," CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said.

"We're exploring different ways to improve our stations, and we're also exploring the best way to do naming rights. This is one approach, and we're looking at others, as well," Gaffney said.

Gaffney didn't provide specifics on the immediacy of a naming rights deal or when the CTA-Apple agreement would be finalized, saying both plans were separate and independent.

Over the summer, the CTA's board approved an ordinance that gave them authorization to enter an agreement with Apple to refurbish the Clybourn station, pending City Council approval, Gaffney said.

Several American mass transit systems, including those in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, have sought to sell naming rights to transit stations.

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