SEPTA is working on new ways to grip riders' attention on behalf of advertisers while at the same time putting cash into its depleted coffers.
The transit agency's board today was expected to approve changing the name of the Broad Street Line's Pattison Avenue station to "AT&T Station."
The change would bring $3 million to SEPTA over five years, while Titan Outdoor Advertising would get about $2 million, according to SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney.
After the federal government shot down a proposal to make Interstate 80 a toll road, which would have generated $110 million a year for SEPTA, the transit agency began looking at other revenue options.
SEPTA, which began raising fares this week, has brought in $11 million in ad revenue annually over the last three years and hopes to bring in an additional $1 million this year, Maloney said.
Titan Outdoor Advertising has already placed six high-definition LCD TV screens on the platform at Suburban Station, along with ad wraps on the Market-Frankford El.
"We've already gone down the path" of putting ads where they have never been before, said Titan's vice president of communications, Jeff Randazo.
That includes placing supersized ads along the walls on platforms and inside trains, whether extra large ads for Cottonelle and Bud Light on the Broad Street Line or turning the entire Spring Garden stop on the El into an ad for Pabst Blue Ribbon. Transit agencies across the country have been seeking more creative ways to raise advertising revenue:
* New Jersey Transit is working on station-naming-rights deals and creating digital ad displays, said spokeswoman Penny Bassett Hackett.
* The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority approved a deal with two of the city's hospitals to name a new rapid transit bus line the "Health Line." The hospitals will pay a combined $6.25 million over 25 years.
* The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City is preparing to take train rides to the next, illuminated level.
MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said that the MTA is lighting up ads on buses with LED lights. Also, in the tunnels, advertisements will flash like images in a flip book as a train travels through, he said.
The MTA also sold the naming rights to a station in Brooklyn that sits below the under-construction Barclays Center, where the NBA's Nets will play. The MTA will be paid $4 million over 20 years by Barclays Bank.
While SEPTA is still working out the details of its contract with AT&T, some riders think that the system isn't taking advantage of the equipment it already has.
Patty Murphy, a Temple University senior, said that SEPTA could play audio ads over the sound systems on the platforms.
"It could be like radio ads," Murphy, 21, said. "And they wouldn't have to play elevator music."