Here’s what D.C. will collect for allowing ads on Capital Bikeshare stations (hint: millions)

It’s time for the District to capitalize on its popular Capital Bikeshare program.

The Department of Transportation has accepted a five-year, $3.6 million offer from Van Wagner Communications LLC, the national’s largest privately held outdoor advertising company, to place advertisements on 190 CaBi advertising display panels. The goal: to make CaBi a self-sustaining enterprise.

D.C. will receive $1 million up front, and a minimum of $231 per month for each of the existing 190 panels, or roughly $44,000 per month over five years. Where the revenue for any advertising panel tops $462 per month, the District and Van Wagner will share the excess 50/50.

As the city expects to have more than 260 bikeshare stations by 2016, the District’s take could be significantly higher.

Capital Bikeshare counts more than 22,000 people as members, who ride roughly 10,000 times a day. It has grown so popular, it recently announced it had run out of keys for new sign-ups. A new shipment was expected this week.

The District first issued the solicitation for Capital Bikeshare advertising in June 2012. A year later, it received best and final offers from two respondents. Washington Signs offered $152 per panel per month, and Van Wagner $231 per month. Why it’s taken another year to actually put the contract before the D.C. Council for approval is unclear.

The contract prohibits ads that are false, misleading or deceptive, or are related to illegal activity, contain explicit sexual or obscene material, that advertise alcohol or tobacco products, depict violence or anti-social behavior, include obscene or vulgar language, or relate to any product designed for use in connection with “specified sexual activities.”

If the District chooses to re-up with Van Wagner in 2019 for an additional five years, it will be owed another $1 million. Van Wagner also leads the Boston and Chicago bike share advertising programs.


Advertiser Content