LTA calls for tender to run second package of bus routes

LTA calls for tender to run second package of bus routes

A second tender to operate bus services under the government contracting model was called by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday.

The contract is to run 25 bus routes in Punggol and Pasir Ris and is open to local and foreign bidders.

The winning firm is expected to start services from the second half of next year with about 400 buses. This will grow to about 500 buses in 2021.

The contract is for five years, with a possible two-year extension for good performance. The tender closes on Aug 14.

Of the 25 bus routes, 22 are existing services run by SBS Transit, with three new ones to be announced later.

The contract will see buses and infrastructure owned by the Government, with the operator in charge of running the routes and meeting specified service standards. Fare revenue will be collected and kept by the Government, while fares charged will be that approved by the Public Transport Council.

The bus services in the Loyang package - named after a new depot being built off Loyang Avenue - will operate from the Changi Airport and Changi Village bus terminals and the Pasir Ris and Punggol bus interchanges.

A tender for the first bundle of 24 routes - called the Bulim package - closed in January. There were 11 bidders, with eight shortlisted so far: Australia's Tower Transit and Busways, Britain's Go-Ahead, France's Keolis and RATP Dev Transdev Asia, and Singapore's SMRT, SBS Transit and Woodlands Transport.

LTA said it is conducting a price evaluation of the shortlisted tenders, with results expected in the second quarter. It added that it is tendering out the new package before awarding the first one as it is taking into account the lead time needed to ramp up services and complete the depots.

SBS Transit said that it would not comment on whether it has plans to bid on the new package as it is a competitive tender.

Meanwhile, Go-Ahead and RATP Dev Transdev Asia responded positively, with both separately expressing interest in looking into the new tender.

This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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