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A long, costly road ahead for Metro name changes

Friday - 10/28/2011, 5:50am  ET

WASHINGTON -- Would it be easier for you to use the region's Metro system if the station names were simpler? That's the concept behind a move to change some of them, but making the actual changes is not as easy as it sounds.

Each change requires new signs and new maps at stations throughout the system. And it's not cheap -- it costs about $100,000 per station.

There is also the debate over whether commercial names should be used. At least one board member is against it.

"We're not going to accept any commercial naming whatsoever or logos or anything of that nature until such time that we have developed firm policy," says Jeff Mckay.

The Metro board wants to limit all name changes to 19 characters, but they have run into some opposition from groups who want their community or institution highlighted. In the case of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, there is a federal law mandating that the full name be shown on the sign, for example.

The board will take more public comment on the issue next Thursday.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank Silverberg and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)