The bus stops that dot Fountain Valley’s main roads could be in for a makeover.
The City Council agreed this month to put out a request for proposals from prospective contractors that could update the 142 Orange County Transportation Authority stops throughout town — most visibly the covered stops, which are 23 years old and showing their age.
Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns and maintains the shelters, installed them in 1996.
Councilwoman Kim Constantine said the city has been “settling” for Clear Channel.
“We need a revamping of the bus shelters and the benches,” she said at a March 19 council study session. “They’re very tired-looking and they’re not well-maintained, unfortunately.”
John Duong, vice president of real estate and public affairs in Clear Channel’s Torrance office, said the nationwide company maintains more than 1,800 shelters across 18 Orange County cities.
But in Fountain Valley, the contracts have been six-month terms since 2011, making long-term capital investment difficult, he said.
Of Fountain Valley’s bus stops, 56 are fully outfitted transit shelters, with a covered bench and trash can beside two large advertising panels that function like street-level billboards. Clear Channel splits the advertising revenue with the city, generating about $127,000 last year for city coffers.
Clear Channel also maintains the shelters with twice-weekly trash pickup, light cleaning and graffiti removal.
The city also has 18 stops with single uncovered benches and 68 stops that are designated only by OCTA signs.
Arthur Rockwell of Focus Media Group, which monetizes and maintains the “street furniture” at bus stops in six Orange County cities, said his Fullerton-based company has experience taking over and refurbishing stops.
“Not only are you in our backyard, and we go through Fountain Valley on our way to maintain other assets that we have to manage, but also because we saw the need and the state of the shelters,” Rockwell told the council.
Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Brothers said she favored examining the city’s options but wasn’t against Clear Channel staying.
“I understand Clear Channel’s position in regard to investment. Six months at a time; I wouldn’t invest either,” she said. “Yes, they need work. It’s not to say Clear Channel can’t do it.”