New Street Furniture for New Ads?
The city is planning to revamp over 25,000 pieces of "street furniture", including more than 5,000 new illuminated bus stalls, to be in place for the next 20 years. Could we see things like the revamp in process in Boston?
Companies bidding on the project have been given a deadline extension until the end of the month to submit their no-cost proposals. While the city will not pay for any of the furniture, or its installation, the companies are allowed to recoup costs through ads.
And while that is a huge up-front cost ($20K per bus shelter, for example) the potential for long-term earnings is huge. 20 years of dedicated ad space will more than make up for the initial costs. The city also gets a piece of that ad revenue action.
The city has come under criticism in the last year for recent attempts to change street furniture. The "monster garbage cans" are a prime example. The pilot project, that was thankfully shut down by city council, save the installation of massive, confusing, ad-centric garbage receptacles around the city. And at a time when the city was complaining about the high energy costs of the summer, plunking down these illuminated signs with garbage cans tacked on the side wasn't exactly a master-stroke.
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