Khaw gives glimpse of London's Go-Ahead buses to be introduced in S'pore

Khaw gives glimpse of London's Go-Ahead buses to be introduced in S'pore
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan posts a photo of a Go-Ahead bus he saw in London on his Facebook page.
PHOTO: Khaw Boon Wan's Facebook

Singapore's Transport Minister gave a glimpse on his Facebook of London's Go-Ahead buses, which are expected to be introduced in Singapore next year.

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Mr Khaw Boon Wan uploaded a photo of one of its buses which he saw in London, where he is attending a maritime conference this week.

Writing on his post, the minister said he saw many Go-Ahead plying around the conference venue. "Apparently, locals are positive about their service level, so we were told," he added.

Go-Ahead, which captures about 24 per cent of the London's bus services, boasts a fleet of 2,300 buses there.

In Singapore, the company will run 25 bus services in Pasir Ris and Punggol, including three new routes from the third-quarter of 2016, after winning the second government bus contract this year. It will also manage Pasir Ris and Punggol bus interchanges as well as the new Loyang Bus Depot.



Mr David Brown, Group Chief Executive Officer of Go-Ahead, said the company is "well positioned to deliver high quality services in Singapore" after it had carried out extensive research to support its bid.

The transport company, which will enter Germany's rail market in 2019, was also well placed to compete for a slice of Singapore's bus market as its contracts system is modelled on London's, he added.

He said in a media statement: "As a well-established and largest operator of bus services on behalf of Transport for London, we have a strong track record of providing passenger transport in busy urban areas. We will combine our skills, experience and people-focused approach with best practice in Singapore to provide a service that customers value and our team is proud to deliver."

Go-Ahead garnered the highest overall score in Land Transport Authority's evaluation of eight short-listed bids in the second government bus contract. The other foreign player in the local bus industry is British-Australian bus operator Tower Transit, which won the first government contract in May.

London-based Tower Transit will operate 26 bus services from the Jurong East, Bukit Batok and Clementi bus interchanges progressively from the second quarter of 2016. The company will hold a carnival and public tours at Bulim Bus Depot to celebrate its opening on December 6.

Singaporeans can look forward to taking London-style bus rides for the first time next year after the two well-established foreign companies won contracts to operate here.

In opening the bus tender exercises to foreign companies this year, Singapore's LTA gave higher weightage to quality service in its evaluation, before examining the cost factor. It then combined the scores for quality and price to decide on the winning bidder.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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