City signs a scaled back bus shelter maintenance contract

Philadelphians might not be getting more than 260 new bus shelters, but the city has signed a contract that it says will provide for better maintenance of existing resources and bring in more money.

The contract, signed Jan. 1 with Titan Outdoor LLC, is for one year and gives the city three additional one-year renewals.

Titan will clean all bus shelter display panels, their outside surface and glass every week, as well as the sidewalk around the shelters. It’s also committed to cleaning bus shelter ceilings and roofs four times a year and repainting each shelter once a year.

Titan has also agreed to repair any problem reported to a phone number that’s being attached to the shelters.

The company is also required to begin clearing snow around shelters ― and providing a path to the closest intersection ― one hour after a snowstorm has ended. Snow clearing will have to be completed within 24 hours.

Andrew Stober, chief of staff at the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, said the contract should bring in about $1 million a year ― twice the revenue generated by the previous contract with CBS Outdoor. The contract provides a minimum revenue guarantee from Titan and a share of any bus shelter advertising revenue above that ― 15 percent the first year and 17.5 percent in subsequent years.

In the first year, the minimum revenue guarantee is almost $600,000. The previous contract netted the city either a per-shelter rental fee from CBS or a share advertising revenue, depending on which was higher.

Stober said the city was impressed with Titan’s track record at SEPTA, where it negotiated a deal to rename the Pattison Avenue station on the Broad Street Line and has found new spaces to “tastefully” advertise on buses.

Philadelphia, like most cities, owns its bus shelters and contracts out building and maintenance of them to an outside company in exchange for the right to sell advertising.

The contract is meant to maintain the existing inventory of bus shelters until the advertising market improves. A previous attempt at a more ambitious street furniture contract ― which would have involved replacing all the current shelters and lasted for 20 years ― failed in July because the city didn’t receive any bids that met its criteria.

Stober hopes to release a bid for a more extensive contract in two or three years.

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