PORT ORANGE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The City of Port Orange will soon have no bus benches. City spokesman Kent Donahue said once the contract with Waverly Media expired, they were unable to find a new contractor to supply the benches and get the money from selling ads on those benches. "According to that contract the benches are theirs, and they are required to pull them within a certain amount of days," he added.
We found Susan Simpson sitting on a bench on Ridgewood waiting for a bus. Next week, she'll have to stand there. "I don't think it's right.," she told us. "I think it will be very inconvenient for the passengers that ride on Votran."
Votran is run by Volusia County and they are being sued for not having bus stops that are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Port Orange feared the same lawsuit if they approved a new contract with a different vendor, and Councilman Bob Ford was frustrated over having the benches ripped out. "My view is that greedy lawyers did it again and inconvenienced everybody," said Ford.
Waverly Media did not bid on a new contract and explained why to FOX 35 in a statement:
"Waverly Media has been proud to serve the citizens and businesses of Port Orange. We regretfully were not able to bid on the recent RFP for Bus Bench Advertising as it included requirements that could have significant unknown costs for construction of access to bench sites, as well as a large minimum payment to the City during the construction time. We are hopeful that the City will be able to handle the infrastructure to upgrade the access to their bus stops, and allow a bench company to provide benches to the community once again in the near future."
Votran also tells FOX 35 they are most disappointed for the passengers on their system, and are trying to work towards a solution where there will be benches in the unincorporated portions of Volusia County, but have no timetable for when a solution will be found.