Government pays $7b for SBS, SMRT bus route contracts

The Land Transport Authority has reached a multi-billion-dollar agreement with SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to move their operations over to the new government bus contracting model.
The Land Transport Authority has reached a multi-billion-dollar agreement with SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to move their operations over to the new government bus contracting model. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has reached a multi-billion-dollar agreement with SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to move their operations over to the new government bus contracting model.

The transition will take effect from Sept 1, and the LTA said on Thursday (Aug 11) there will be 11 bus packages under the model.

SBS Transit operates eight of the packages with 196 bus services, and SMRT Buses operates three with 77.

The packages have an operating tenure of between two and 10 years.

When they expire, each will be put up for competitive tendering - similar to the Bulim and Loyang route parcels were recently.

The LTA said this phased approach to competitive tendering minimises risk of service disruption for commuters and allows LTA to refine the management of contracts, as well as the tendering and handover processes.

The packages are of varying sizes, and have different compositions of bus services with different route lengths. The estimated total contract fees are $5.3 billion for SBS Transit, and $1.9 billion for SMRT Buses.

These contract sums were reached after negotiations with the two operators.