B12 Solipsism

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CTA Apple Station A No Bid Process, So?

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Apple Blues

The CTA accepted Apple’s offer, as presented, without soliciting other bids, probably because no other corporation was offering anything. Why would there be a bidding war for the (formerly) decrepit North & Clybourn El stop? Theoretical money isn’t the same as the actual money Apple spent.

The Chicago Transit Authority announced last month that it is looking for a consulting firm to help develop a “revenue-generating corporate sponsorship program” — a plan to sell private companies the naming rights to CTA train lines, train stations and bus routes.

The consultant will determine which of the agency’s assets might attract sponsorships and what the naming rights would be worth, according to a request for proposals issued by the CTA. Public bidding would be central to the consultant’s work, the CTA said, to assure “transparency and increased competition.”

But there was no such bidding last year when the CTA agreed to let Apple spend nearly $4 million on renovation of the North and Clybourn train station. The CTA agreed to let Apple turn an unused bus driveway into a plaza and to renovate the inside of the station to the company’s specifications. In return, Apple was given the rights to lease the plaza space for no charge for at least 10 years, to advertise anywhere in the station at rates set by the CTA, and to purchase station naming rights if the agency ever sells them.

(click to continue reading Competition Wasn’t Part of CTA’s Apple Deal – NYTimes.com.)

Now that Apple was so successful in refurbishing a station in their chosen manner, future similar CTA station deals will have more public bidding processes, I don’t have a problem with that. I also don’t care if private businesses adopt other train stations, and clean them up in exchange for naming rights or whatever. What’s the harm? The oft-criticised parking privatization sold off future Chicago revenue streams to a for-profit corporation for 99 years, the Apple CTA station is a quite different scenario.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 3rd, 2010 at 8:15 am

Posted in Apple,Chicago-esque

Tagged with ,

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