The company that manages the Big Apple’s bus stops says it’s losing $10 million to $20 million a year and worries it’ll never make a profit if the city moves ahead with plans to revamp a contract with another vendor installing free public Wi-Fi kiosks.
Edward Wallace, a lawyer for bus shelter manager JCDecaux, asked the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee Monday not to amend CityBridge’s 2016 contract for the kiosks because it would allow some of the 7,500 Wi-Fi outlets being installed citywide to go up within 50 feet of bus stops.
He said putting the kiosks that close would “block visibility” to bus shelter ads, causing the firm’s revenue to decrease even more. In 2015, JCDecaux purchased Cemusa, the original shelter vendor, and inherited a contract that he said has resulted in cumulative losses of $420 million since 2006.
Wallace was one of nearly 20 people who testified about the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications’ plan to amend the CityBridge deal.
All others were in favor of the amendment, which the FCRC is expected to vote on Wednesday.
Early financial returns on the LinkNYC program have been so underwhelming that the de Blasio administration agreed to amend its 2016 contact so that CityBridge can defer profit-sharing payments on ads to the city, The Post reported last week.
DoITT spokeswoman Kate Blumm said the agency is confident the contract changes won’t have a negative impact.
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