Approximately 900 shelters at public transport stops, which are now owned and operated by JCDecaux in Prague, will be replaced by new furniture. The city will acquire it within a period of 21 months after the end of the contract between the company and the municipality in the middle of next year. The agreement was approved today by Prague councilors, the company has already signed it. The first shelters would have to be replaced in November next year, at which time the city must find new suppliers in the competition and have the first of them manufactured.
The French company operates mainly public transport shelters in Prague on the basis of a contract from 1994, exchanges them for their provision and maintenance, and can rent advertising on them. The previous management of the municipality described the contract as unfavorable and refused to extend it. The current Prague coalition confirmed this and decided that after the end of the agreement, the city will replace the furniture with new shelters, which it will buy itself.
According to the approved agreements, the transitional period will be divided into three seven-month parts, into which the exchange will be evenly distributed. In each of them, shelters without advertising will be exchanged first, those with advertising in the last two months. According to the resolution of the councilors, the City of Technology of the Capital City of Prague (THMP), which was in charge of assessing the condition of the furniture and negotiating the termination of the contract, will ensure the acquisition and installation of new shelters. At the same time, the municipality will announce a competition for a company that will run advertising on new shelters.
In the transitional period, the city will pay for the use of furniture, and will pay a total of CZK 24.4 million for 21 months. JCDecaux, on the other hand, pays the municipality CZK 35.7 million for the same period, which is the difference between the two payments, which according to the document should correspond to the current payment of the city company. At the same time, Prague will be entitled to half of the profits from the rental of advertising space on shelters. In total, according to the document, the city should receive approximately CZK 18.5 million from the company for a transitional period.
Director of THMP Tomáš Jílek He previously told ČTK that the city would pay CZK 200 to 300 million for new furniture and that the investment could return on investment from advertising to the operator in seven to eight years. Additional costs for the city will result in the obligation to purchase or build the electrical connections necessary for the operation of the shelters. THMP has already done a passportization of the stops and, according to Jílek, it will be possible to buy the connection from JCDecaux at estimated prices for the estimated one-third of them, and the remaining ones will have to be built.
Councilor Jan Chabr (TOP 90) stated today after the meeting of the council that the city counts on the acquisition of new furniture at a cost of CZK 400 million. He added that the city will announce a competition for the production of new shelters at the beginning of next year, and market consultations have already taken place, where foreign companies have also signed up. According to the council, the competition for the operation of advertisements will be announced in the middle of next year, and its exact form is still being resolved.
The agreement was concluded despite the company’s original statement, which begins with the dismantling so that all the shelters disappear by the date of expiry of the contract, ie by 30 June next year. However, the situation is different for another large advertising contract. Both parties are considering the validity of the 1997 contract with the transport company, on the basis of which JCDecaux operated all public transport advertising. Last year, the court has so far ruled invalidly that the contract is invalid. The Court of Appeal agreed, but the case was re-examined due to technical doubts in the original judgment. Due to a dispute, JCDecaux began arbitration with the Czech Republic on September 16.