Agenda Index City of Vancouver



Vancouver City Council


General Manager of Engineering Services and General Manager of Community Services


Award of Proposal No. PS02004
Provision of Street Furniture




The policy of Council is to award contracts for the purchase of equipment, supplies and services that will give the highest value based on quality, service and price.

Contracts with a value over $300,000 are referred to Council.


The purpose of this report is to submit the results of the street furniture RFP process and recommend that Council direct staff to negotiate and enter into a contract for the provision of street furniture.

Under this contract, the City will receive a complete renewal of its street furniture facilities, free cleaning and maintenance of those facilities for twenty years, 10% of all advertising faces made available free of charge for community oriented advertising and a projected $47.3 million in cash for a total projected City benefit of $135 million over the twenty year term.


In January, 1999, Council instructed staff to undertake a Street Furniture Study, to explore opportunities for revenue generation, improved service and enhanced aesthetics of street-scape items.

On June 15, 2000, Council received the report "Street Furniture and Amenity Study - Policy Document" for information and referred it to a public process. Council further directed staff to report back with policy recommendations. Council approved funding of the work program outlined in the report including the commencement of the Streetscape Design Standards (SDS) Manual.

On October 4, 2001, Council received the document "Street Furniture and Amenity Program Public Consultation Process" for information. Council further directed the General Manager of Engineering Services to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the provision and maintenance of street furniture and amenity packages which required proponents to submit proposals for:

a) a coordinated suite of street furniture which would include 11 different types of amenities such as:

b) provision and maintenance of bus shelters only with a corresponding financial offer reflecting the exclusion of the other requested amenities.

Council also approved:

a) the Street Amenity Program - Implementation Plan, attached to the Policy Report of October 4, 2001;

b) funding for staff and consultant resources for the remainder of the project through 2004, as outlined in the Policy Report dated July 10, 2001, at a cost of up to $378,200 (approved total projected budget of $580,000). Funding approved as a loan from the Service Improvement Reserve to be repaid from future street furniture advertising revenues beginning in 2004.


1. Summary of the RFP Process

The RFP for the provision of street furniture and amenities issued in March 2002, requested proponents to submit proposals on:

a) two options for the provision, service and maintenance of street furniture and amenities:

b) contract terms of 10, 15 or 20 years;
c) three options for community advertising benefits to the City;

Three proposals were received from the following proponents:

Viacom/Decaux, a partnership comprised of Viacom Outdoor Canada (Viacom) previously known as Mediacom, a major outdoor advertising and bus shelter provider in eastern Canada and JC Decaux. Viacom have transit shelter contracts in approximately 36 municipalities. JC Decaux, are one of the pioneering companies in Europe for the provision of street furniture and have provided over 1,275 cities globally with street furniture for over 4 decades. JC Decaux entered the US market in 1992 and have since expanded to about 70 cities in the United States.

Pattison Outdoor, a division of The Jim Pattison Group are headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Pattison Outdoor, previously called Seaboard Advertising are currently providing bus shelter programs to 68 municipalities in British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. More recently, Pattison Outdoor have expanded their operations to the United States.

Cemusa, a subsidiary of Grupo Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas S.A. (FCC), are headquartered in Madrid, Spain. Cemusa's core business is the design, installation and operation of street furniture including bus shelters with associated outdoor advertising. Cemusa has provided street furniture to more than 110 cities over the past 17 years.

All three companies are very well established and each of them have extensive experience in outdoor advertising which is the fundamental driver of a program of this nature.

Decisions on the direction to take for each of these follows.

2. Choosing between a Coordinated Suite of Street Furniture or Bus Shelters Only

With both street furniture options, the City would benefit from very well designed street furniture elements, manufactured and installed at no cost to the City; a very high level of service and maintenance standard over the contract term; advertising restricted to bus shelters and automated public toilets only (if applicable); community advertising program options; an increase in funds being shared with the City as a percentage of the gross advertising revenues and savings in terms of capital and operating budgets.

With the "coordinated suite of street furniture" option, the City would obtain the provision of 11 different types of street furniture. With the "provision of bus shelters only" option, the City would obtain only one type of street furniture and would have to buy, service and maintain the remaining 10 types of street furniture elements.

Based on information submitted by the proponents, the bus shelter only option provides between $800,000 and $1.4m per annum additional projected City revenue over 20 years compared to the coordinated suite option. The total cost for the City to supply and maintain an independent street furniture component is estimated at $1.45m per annum. Therefore, there is no financial advantage to the City in entering into a contract for bus shelters only and using the additional revenues to fund a program for the remaining street furniture elements.

Further, the City would not be able to easily integrate nor coordinate the street furniture with the bus shelters and maintenance would be duplicated with possible inconsistency at sites where bus shelters were next to street furniture. The implementation time frame would also need to be extended to cover both programs.

In conclusion, staff recommend that Council only consider a coordinated street furniture proposal as it provides a complete suite of well designed furniture at no additional cost. This decision eliminates Cemusa from further consideration as this company submitted a proposal to provide bus shelters only.

There is an option for the implementation of automated public toilets. Staff will report back to Council, regarding issues around whether we should exercise this option and if approved, the report would include aspects of number, location and implementation schedule for this amenity.

Staff have held discussions with various stakeholder groups and publishers regarding the implementation of multiple publication newsracks which may replace some existing newsboxes in the implementation of the coordinated street furniture program. It is staff's intention to continue these discussions with all concerned to reach a solution to this issue.

3. Duration of Contract

The RFP requested that proponents submit proposals based on 10, 15, or 20 year terms. Two proponents submitted proposals for coordinated suites of street furniture, one for a 20 year term and the other for all 3 terms. A 20 year term was preferred by staff for the following reasons:

a) analysis of the financial proposals showed that the best revenue sharing offers to the City were obtained from this contract term;
b) from the proposed service and maintenance standards outlined in the proposals, staff are confident that the street furniture would endure this term;
c) the mid-point upgrade required in the RFP allows for review of the street furniture design at the City's discretion;
d) the longer term would result in less disruption to the sidewalks in respect to street furniture removal and replacement.

Therefore, staff recommend a 20-year contract.

4. Community Advertising Strategy

In 1982 and again in 1987 and 1992, Council approved agreements for placement of bus shelters which achieved a community benefit in the form of 10% of bus shelter advertising panels being provided free of charge to non-profit arts organizations and for civic uses such a civic elections publicity. This has enabled organizations such as Science World, Ballet BC, the Vancouver Opera, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and a range of small and large festivals to reach the public. In addition, the civic/community panels have been used by the City Clerk's office during elections, and a growing number of civic departments (Engineering, Corporate Communications, Social Planning, as well as the Vancouver Public Library and Park Board).

Demand for the community advertising spaces is high for all 68 facings currently available. Further there has been little increase in facings in recent years. The community, during the public consultation preceding the RFP, expressed concern that this important benefit be continued.

In recognition of the demand and the support for community advertising access , the RFP requested proponents to submit three community-oriented advertising options:

a) an option to make advertising facing available to the City and community at market rates. City departments and non-profit organizations would then access the City's revenue stream to purchase ads;

b) an option to secure the existing number of facings (68) per year at no cost, plus an additional 12 faces for use by the City during an election year;

c) an option to provide 10% of all advertising faces at no cost for use by the City and non-profit community.

As current advertising sales run at approximately 85% of capacity with seasonal variations, and revenue streams are low in the early years of the contract it is likely that options b) and c) would have little impact on revenues to the contractor or the City in the first few years of the contract. However, both could result in foregone revenues to the City once demand nears capacity. The potential foregone revenues presented below are based on estimates of the proponents in response to the RFP.

Staff reviewed the proponents submissions and note the following costs and benefits of the options. Revenue implications of the options are presented relative to option a) (no free advertising) assuming the City purchases no advertising.

Option a):

The financial implications of this option is dependent on the assumption of how much advertising the City would be willing to purchase for civic and community purposes. If the City were to purchase 10% civic and community advertising at market rates, the cost would be in the order of $1.2 million, a cost which exceeds the City's guaranteed revenues in the initial years of the contract and over the twenty year term could equal the total guaranteed revenues. Overall, this option would significantly limit community access to the advertising contrary to existing City practice.

Option b):

This option provides access to the same number of advertising faces as in the current agreement and does not impact the City's guaranteed revenues. It could result in potential foregone revenues to the City of:

Option c):

This option provides 10% of the advertising faces or 142 faces per year by year three of the contract. It does not impact the City's guaranteed revenues, but could result in potential foregone revenues to the City of:

Staff have reviewed the proposals and recommend Option c) -- 10% of all advertising facings be provided to the City as a community benefit at no cost inclusive of all posting fees. This option provides the most consistent benefit over the period of the contract, although there may be a reduction in the number of available advertising panels in the initial year as the bus shelters are installed. To ensure ongoing benefits, staff recommend a review of the costs and benefits of this community advertising strategy every five years.

5. RFP Evaluation Process

The evaluation of the proposals was undertaken using a standard evaluation format where the evaluation team identified and weighted the various aspects of the RFP prior to closing. The evaluation considered the company profile of the proponents, the design component, service and maintenance, installation schedules and the financial offer.

The aspects having the highest weighting were the design component, service and maintenance and the financial proposal. The expectation is for a standard of street furniture being provided to the City that achieves design excellence and a high aesthetic standard. Subsequently, once the street furniture is located on the sidewalk, the importance of service and maintenance becomes crucial to keep the street furniture well maintained and clean. Finally, the financial proposal is what determines the viability of this type of contract and the financial return to the City.

6. Evaluation

The following discussion summarizes the evaluation results for the proposals from Viacom/Decaux and Pattison Outdoor against each of the following criteria.

a) Experience in the provision of a coordinated street furniture program

JC Decaux has approximately 4 decades of proven experience in the provision of street furniture. Pattison Outdoor has experience in the provision, service and maintenance of bus shelters but not in a coordinated suite of street furniture for a city.

The evaluation team was satisfied with JC Decaux's proven ability in the provision of coordinated suites of street furniture for cities in Europe, Far East Asia and Australia.

b) Coordinated suite of street furniture design and manufacture

The Viacom/Decaux proposal offered a variety of street furniture options and expressed a willingness to redesign and augment the furniture lines to provide Vancouver with what it needs to meet the requirements for neighbourhood customization. The design submitted by Pattison Outdoor is unique and provides good integration of amenities but would require substantial design modifications to adapt to narrow sidewalk conditions due to its size. Pattison Outdoor's strategy of making design modifications to a single design line to allow for neighbourhood customization was felt to be inadequate to address the needs of the variety of neighbourhoods that make up Vancouver.

The evaluation team was impressed with the uniqueness and integration depicted in the designs presented by Pattison Outdoor, but felt that the designs presented by Viacom/Decaux are better-suited to areas of the City with narrow sidewalks which approximately constitutes 80% of the city. The Viacom/Decaux designs also provided the flexibility required to reflect the unique character of the various neighbourhoods in the City.

c) Service and maintenance standards

JC Decaux service and maintenance levels in other cities far exceeds current practices by any municipality in Canada. The proposal also indicated areas of service and maintenance that would exceed those outlined in the RFP. Local in-house personnel would be hired by Viacom, trained and regularly monitored by JC Decaux to maintain quality control. The Pattison Outdoor proposal, subsequent interview and follow up questions did not convince staff that the level of detail in the proposal, resources to be allocated and manpower requirements indicated was adequate to provide the level of maintenance stated in the RFP. Pattison Outdoor proposed to use a sub-contractor for maintenance and it was felt that some quality control would be lost through this approach.

The evaluation team are more confident with the Viacom/Decaux proposal with respect to their ability to service and maintain their street furniture to the standards established in other cities which reflect the standards stated in the RFP.

d) Financial Offer

The RFP asked proponents to specify the timetable for the installation of the street furniture elements and related advertising panels, the projected revenue over the term of the contract, the guaranteed amount payable to the City and the projected revenue to the City based on a share of the projected gross revenue. From these numbers, comparisons were generated between the proponents' submissions.

There are two major aspects to the financial offers related to the payments to the City, the guaranteed payment and the projected payment. The guaranteed payment is the amount that the contractor commits to pay to the City irrespective of the revenue generated from the sale of advertising. The two proponents took somewhat different approaches to the determination of the guaranteed payments. Pattison Outdoor tied the payment to the number of installed advertising faces, by specifying an amount per installed advertising face. Viacom/Decaux specified a set amount payable each year. In both cases, the amount of the guaranteed payment increased over the term of the contract.

The second payment aspect of the financial offer was the projected revenue payable to the City based on the advertising revenue generated. In both cases, the proponents specified the payments as a percentage of the gross revenue generated from the rental of the advertising panels. While there were differences in the amount of the percentage applied and the timing of changes to the percentage, the average percentage over the term of the contract in both cases approximated 22%. However, the two proponents for the suite of street furniture had significantly different projections of revenue over the term of the contract. This could be attributed to differences in advertising strategy, and the inherent uncertainty of projections made over a period of 20 years. Based on the financial proposal, reference checks and greater reliance of Viacom/Decaux on national and international advertisers (approximately 70%) compared to Pattison Outdoor (approximately 40%), staff feel confident that Viacom/Decaux's higher projected revenue is achievable.

Between the two proponents, Pattison Outdoor provided the higher guaranteed payment, but Viacom/Decaux indicated a higher overall projected revenue and payment to the City. and Viacom/Decaux's reliance on a higher percentage of international to national advertisers.

The following table summarizes the financial offer for each company


Pattison Outdoor

Stated capital costs


Stated capital costs


Estimated maintenance costs [over 20 years]


Estimated maintenance costs [over 20 years]


Projected City revenues*


Projected City revenues*


Estimated value of additional items**


Estimated value of additional items**


Projected total value to City


Projected total value to City


Guarantee City revenues*


Guarantee City revenues*


* Amounts quoted are those submitted by the proponents for a 20 year contract with 10% community advertising being provided to the City.

** Additional items include international advertising, installation credits for toilets and relocation allowance.

7. Staffing Requirements

As stated on the October 4, 2001 Council Report, up to $580,000 will be borrowed from the Service Improvement Reserve to fund the staff resources up to the middle of 2004. It is appropriate at this time to review the staffing needs of the Street Amenity Program.

The existing position of the temporary Project manager until the summer of 2004, as previously approved by Council (June 2000), will manage and administer the street furniture contract, liaise with the various BIA's to help create distinctive neighbourhoods and complete the first phase of street furniture placement. The position will also issue subsequent RFPs for a dedicated telephone service provider for the coordinated suite of furniture; for a software provider for the information kiosks and one for a signage company to design and manufacture the pedestrian maps to be installed in the amenities requested in the street furniture RFP. The status of this position will be reviewed in 2004. No additional funding is required for this staff position.

It is envisioned that future staff requirements for the Street furniture program would include:

a) One regular full-time Engineering Assistant to begin duties in the spring of 2003 to help coordinate the placement of street furniture as per the standards as stated in the draft Streetscape design Standards and City requirements and to review and inspect the level of service and maintenance required from the street furniture contractor. This position will be funded through current project resources till summer 2004. Thereafter it is recommended that funding be included in the operating budget. The cost of this position is more than offset by the additional revenues from the street furniture program.

b) The Office of Cultural Affairs currently manages the bus shelter advertising program with existing resources. However, given that the number of facings in the program will double by 2004, additional resources will be required. Specifically, One half-time Planning Assistant within the Office of Cultural Affairs to begin duties in January 2004 to provide appropriate policy guidelines and information and to manage the bookings and contracting involved in the civic/community advertising program. It is recommended that funding be included in the operating budget. The cost of this position is more than offset by the additional revenues from the street furniture program.

8. Litter Receptacle Service and Maintenance

The street furniture contractor would be responsible for the provision and maintenance of the litter receptacles. Engineering Services currently services and maintains approximately 800 litter containers throughout the city. There is a public desire to increase the number of litter containers in commercial areas and at bus shelters. Staff support increasing the number of litter containers in the City to address the growing need for containers. It is proposed that the number of litter containers be increased by 400 (50%), to 1200 containers as part of the street furniture program.

Based on existing servicing costs and the higher service levels expected to match the standards being established for the suite of street furniture, the additional 400 litter containers would cost approximately $350,000 to service. Engineering Services is currently reviewing the method and frequency of servicing litter containers. A more refined figure will be reported this fall.

9. Financial Implications

One of the objectives of the street furniture program was to explore other avenues of providing street furniture thereby relieving the City of the expenditures incurred for the provision and maintenance of these amenities. With the new contract, there would be savings to capital ($188,000) and operating budgets ($1.6 million per year depending on assumptionsmade for future revenues). A summary of these savings are outlined in the following table.

Annual Budget Savings From New Street Furniture Contract




Change Incr./(Decr.)

Operating Budget - Costs*

    Bus Shelters and benches (maintenance)




    Litter container servicing




    Engineering Assistant




    Planning Assistant






Operating Budget - Revenues

    Projected revenues from new contract**




          Net Savings to Operating Budget


Capital Expenditures

    Bus shelters and benches




      Total - Net savings/revenue increases


* In the first few years of the program, additional operating costs of approximately $100,000 will be associated with the payback of the Service Initiative Reserve loan approved by Council.

** The projected revenue to the City of $2.4m/annum provided by the contractor is dependant on market conditions. The contractor guarantees $1.5m but if the outdoor advertising market demand increases, the City would benefit over and above the $2.4m stated. For evaluation purposes, an amount in between the two figures at $2m was utilized.

10. Implementation Plan

Subject to Council approval the final implementation phase of the street furniture program would entail:

Implementation Plan

August 2002

Identify, clarify and resolve any outstanding issues

September 2002

Formulate a contract to the satisfaction of the General Manager of Engineering Services and Director of Legal Services

October 2002

The contractor to provide implementation schedules for 2003

November 2002

Contractor to provide appropriate drawings indicating placement of street furniture and outlining issues which require City approvals and special site specific problematic areas etc.

January 2003

Begin placement of new street furniture

December 2004

First phase of street furniture implementation to be completed


After a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of the proponents proposals, presentations, interviews and clarifications, staff propose the following direction:

a) to proceed with a coordinated suite of street furniture rather than bus shelters only,
b) based on analysis of the two proposals submitted for a coordinated suite of street furniture, recommend the Viacom/Decaux proposal for the following reasons:

c) addition of 1.5 FTE staff resources for the administration and management of the street furniture program being paid for through revenues that would accrue to the City

By proceeding with a coordinated suite of street furniture, the City will receive a complete renewal of its street furniture facilities, free cleaning and maintenance of those facilities for twenty years, 10% of all advertising faces made available free of charge for community oriented advertising and a projected $47.3 million in cash for a total projected City benefit of $135 million over the twenty year term.



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