November 2017
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New Street Furniture A Hit with New Yorkers

Last week, Cemusa — the company that holds the city franchise for street furniture — made a presentation to the the MAS Streetscape Committee on how the roll-out of their contract is progressing. See the slideshow below. Begun in 2006, Cemusa has a 20 year contract to build and maintain new furniture on the city’s streets and is currently nearly halfway towards completing the first portion of their contract.

Advertising possibilities abound on these new newsstands and bus shelters, with showcase displays featuring real bridal gowns — an ad for the reality television show Bridezilla, and a genuine astroturf background — for hyping Monday Night Football, amongst others, amusing passing New Yorkers. Starbucks even created an ad that changed each week, culminating in a cheerful holiday poster.

Cemusa reported to the committee that the public and media have responded very enthusiastically to the new furniture as it gets installed across the city.

“My newsstand is more modern, my customers like it.” – Ambalal Patel, news vendor

“I think it’s really cool… It’s improving the city and makes me want to buy from them (newsstands) more.”
– New Yorker on NY1

“Sleek kiosks are hot news”
New York Post

” Gleaming, mod, metal, new newsstands are the story.”
The Villager

The imaginative use of this new advertising space and the variety of advertisers suggests that the new shelters and newsstands are being well maintained. Likewise, the positive feedback from the media and public suggest that this new furniture is enhancing the city’s streetscapes. Indeed, the City itself is also benefiting from the handsome new street furniture as Cemusa has already paid the City of New York $118,400,000 — its portion of the advertising revenue generated.

Cemusa will install a total of 3,300 bus shelters, 330 newsstands and 20 automatic pay toilets (known as APTs) across the city. As of September this year, the company had installed 1,583 bus shelters, 124 newsstands, one APT, and four bike shelters.

The MAS Streetscape Committee played a major role in bringing about a coordinated street furniture program in New York City, and was also represented on the design review committee that helped determine what the new bus shelters, newsstands and APTs would look like. The committee will continue to monitor the street furniture roll-out as it progresses across the city.