These days, bus riders at stops around Los Angeles may find themselves without a bench to rest on.
City officials say the company that provides and manages roughly 6,000 bus benches began removing them last week because it was not awarded a new contract.
Norman Bench Advertising, which for more than a decade has maintained the benches in exchange for advertising revenue, has recently come under fire from officials for failing to disclose how many benches it has and how much money it reaps from displaying ads on them.
Board of Public Works Commissioner Andrea Alarcon said Thursday that the company has been "a difficult partner" and that benches have been removed from stops in at least three City Council districts.
Calls to William Giamela, the owner of the Canoga Park-based company, were not returned Thursday.
It says the company 'provides and manages' the benches, so it would be interesting to know whether the benches they provided were supposed to be owned by the city or the company. And how many benches existed before they got the contract? Presumably most stops had benches before the contract. Is this sour grapes for losing the contract or is there more to this story?