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Bus stop battle in Miami-Dade

A bus stop battle is brewing in Miami-Dade County (FL), and passengers may lose out.

As reported here, Miami-Dade County has a contract with CIVIQ Smartscapes to deploy WiFi and digital kiosks at selected locations. But CIVIQ’s goal is bumping up against the county’s transit advertising program.  Outfront Media maintains county bus shelters in exchange for selling ad space in the structures, and the media company recently threatened to abandon its bus shelter program in the face of competition from CIVIQ.

“We understand that the objectives of the digital kiosk program are fantastic — to provide free WiFi to transit riders,” Outfront representative Michael Llorente told the county commissioners at a hearing. “But I can assure you that if that program is funded by essentially cannibalizing some of our top-producing bus shelters, a lot of those riders are going to be surfing the Internet under the sun and the rain. Because the money is simply not going to be there for the bus shelters.”

In the meantime, CIVIQ’s arrangment with the county is under new scrutiny. The company has not yet met requirements to identify requested locations for 150 kiosks or to install WiFi on 10 buses. Miami-Dade issued a warning and a deadline for compliance.

One complication for CIVIQ is that the most desirable kiosk locations are within the city limits of Miami and Miami Beach.  Each city can negotiate its own contracts independent of the county, and Miami Beach has invited proposals for its own kiosk system. Link to full story in Miami Herald.

Image source: Miami-Dade Transit

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