CITY OF CINCINNATI REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Streetcar Advertising Contract RFP NUMBER: RFP1103DOTESTCRADVRT
DUE DATE: September 21, 2023, 3:00 PM ET
The City of Cincinnati, Ohio, (hereinafter referred as “City”) is issuing this Request for Proposals
(hereinafter “RFP”) pursuant to the provisions of the Cincinnati Municipal Code (CMC), Chapter
321 and City Manager Administrative Regulation 23 for Professional Services, from parties,
(hereinafter “Offerors). The Offeror shall provide an advertising program to replace the existing
advertising program, with the goal of streamlining the administration of advertising and increasing
revenue for the Cincinnati Connector, to both offset operating expenses and fund potential
enhanced Connector programming.
The Connector Streetcar, managed by the City of Cincinnati (City), is seeking proposals from
firms qualified to provide revenue-generating transit sponsorships and advertising contracts for
display on certain physical assets of the Connector Streetcar transit system in Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Exterior ads on streetcar vehicles
• Interior ads on streetcar vehicles
• Connector platform signage sponsorship when permitted.
• Replacement of existing sponsorship program as applicable.
The selected Proposer will be responsible for coordinating advertising activities to generate
revenue on streetcar vehicles and streetcar shelters, managing sales and placement of
advertising or station sponsorships, production of materials, installation, and other duties as
described in a final contract.
GENERAL BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION
The Connector is Cincinnati’s modern, electric streetcar system. The fleet, which includes five
streetcars, travels a 3.6-mile figure eight loop that connects the city’s riverfront at The Banks,
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The two loops are 3.6 miles long and streetcars operate through mixed traffic. The loop is served
by a fleet of five CAF vehicles operating in mixed right-of-way. The loop operates an average 10-
minute to 15-minute service frequency from 7:30am – 11:30pm weekdays, 8:30am – 11:30pm
Saturdays, and 9:30am – 9:30pm Sundays. It conveniently connects thousands of residents and
visitors in the city to the Over the Rhine neighborhood, the downtown core, and ‘The Banks’
stadium district. There are 18 station stops along the alignment leading to restaurants, retail,
businesses, sports stadiums, and parks. The southern station at The Banks is a block away from
the high-capacity bus transit station. Annual ridership in 2022 was 846,622.
The Connector is owned and funded by the City, which partners with Transdev to serve as the
operator of the system on the City’s behalf. City of Cincinnati staff manage other activities for the
Connector, including program operational oversight, budget, and sponsorship management.
Additionally, the Connector has an existing agreement with Alta Fiber for exclusive naming rights
for the system until September 2026.
The City expects to achieve the following outcomes through this solicitation:
• Work with a qualified firm to develop an advertising program to replace the existing advertising program;
• Streamline the administration of advertisement and potential station sponsorship and maximize revenue from the Cincinnati Connector; and
• Obtain predictable revenue and expert advertising services.
SCOPE OF SERVICES/SPECIFICATIONS
Vendor will be required to meet/perform the following general requirements:
1. Vendor will be responsible for securing all contracts, managing the placement of advertisements, and coordinating with City staff.
2. Vendor shall present City with a range of options to activate advertising opportunities on the streetcars and sponsorship opportunities on shelters, including a range of ad locations, coverage, size, and scale as well as a range of potential revenues and costs associated with each.
3. Vendor will give its best effort to sell advertising space and will operate a fully staffed business office to manage this effort and maintain a minimum annual guarantee.
4. Vendor must be familiar with the Cincinnati area, local ordinances of municipalities in the area, and be capable of acquiring both local and national advertising contracts.
5. Vendor must have a workforce or subcontractors capable of creating and producing graphics for streetcar shelters and vehicles. Vendor or subcontractors must also be able to ensure proper installation, maintenance, and removal of advertising displays without damaging the streetcars or shelters.
6. Vendor will comply with generally accepted industry principles with respect to good taste and all applicable laws and regulations including but not limited to truth in advertising, copyrights, and trademarks. All advertising must be approved by the Deputy Director of Streetcar Services or designee prior to installation, with at least two days’ notice. The Deputy Director of Streetcar Services or designee will be the sole arbiter of acceptable content and will designate approval/disapproval through an email or other written communication. Determinations are final and not appealable.
7. Ads are to be installed on streetcar vehicles at the city’s Maintenance and Operations facility, during a scheduled time with appropriate City streetcar staff supervisors. All Company activities relating to the installation and removal of advertisements shall not interfere with the Connector’ssafe and orderly transit operations.
8. Vendor or subcontractor must be able to create, produce, and install streetcar vehicle and station/shelter sponsorship materials on site in Cincinnati locations as specified. For clarity, creation and production of sponsorship materials may occur offsite.
9. Vendor must be available to travel to Cincinnati within three (3) days if needed.
10. Vendor will remove unapproved or damaged ads within 24 hours of written notice given by the City. Vendor will remove all dated advertising materials within five (5) calendar days from their expiration date. (Dated materials refer to advertising materials that are relevant to a specific time period or relevant to an event that has been completed.)
11. Vendor will remove ads at the request of City in between advertising periods to restore to the default Streetcar and station appearance.