King County Councilman Larry Phillips wants to tap into the “entrepreneurial energy” of King County to find creative ways to help with Metro’s massive funding gap. We’ve cover the funding gap a lot, for backround, here’s a story on the gap, here’s a story on one way to cover a portion of it, here’s a story about how scary it is for bus riders, here’s a story about Olympia’s help with closing part of it, and here’s a story about the Govenor’s veto of part of that help. Here’s Phillips:
“We must harness King County’s entrepreneurial spirit to find ways Metro can reduce costs and generate some cash to keep buses on the streets despite the decline in tax revenue,” said Phillips. “Metro has already tapped into some entrepreneurial efforts such as advertising in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and service partnerships with cities and businesses, but it’s time to dig deeper and expand those opportunities. For example, can we help pay for implementing RapidRide by allowing companies to buy sponsorships at new RapidRide stations?”
I like the RapidRide station sponsorship idea. We’ve been advocating more advertising in Metro stops for long, long time as a way to bring in revenue. Ads in covered Metro bus stops are practically a no-brainer. How about ads on transfers? I also think you could make a lot of money by opening kiosks for newsvendor/coffee cart folks inside the downtown Transit Tunnel.
Got any great ideas for Metro to make money? Leave them in the comments.