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Scorned Company Pulling Out All of LA's Bus Benches

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Los Angeles: now with fewer places to rest these weary bones. The LA Times reports that city officials have effectively canceled a deal with Norman Bench Advertising, the company that has exclusive rights to nearly 6,000 bus benches in Los Angeles. Apparently miffed that its contract isn't being renewed, Norman has just started pulling its benches out. Until now, the company has paid the city $245,000 a year to manage the benches, with an obligation to pay the city a percentage of the advertising revenue generated by them. However, Norman has failed to provide thorough financial records, so the city is unsure whether it's been receiving a full share of the revenue.

The City Council will vote next Tuesday on a contract that would turn management of bus benches over to a new company, Martin Outdoor Media, but it may be some time before the city can replace the removed benches (it might ask Martin to install temporarly wood and concrete replacements).

Rick Coca, a rep for Councilmember José Huizar, clarifies to Curbed today that under the new contract before the council, Martin would remove and deliver the old benches to Norman at no cost to the city. Also, the Council motion stipulates that all future benches will become the property of the city, to spare citizens another round of bus bench musical chairs: "Councilmember Huizar is flabbergasted that Norman would stoop to this level."
· This bus bench doesn't sit here anymore [LA Times]