PLANS to rope in private bus operators to beef up services gathered speed as three companies were awarded contracts worth $5 million to run four services for two years.
The four services, comprising short routes during peak hours, will complement existing feeders connecting residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay and Woodlands to nearby bus interchanges or MRT stations.
They will be launched progressively from the second quarter, the Land Transport Authority announced Tuesday.
Commute Solutions clinched two of the services - one from Ang Mo Kio MRT station to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 to complement Service 268; and one from Woodlands bus interchange to Woodlands Street 41 to complement Service 912 - for about $1.17 million and $1.15 million, respectively.
Tong Tar Transport Services will run a service from Lakeside MRT station to Boon Lay MRT station, complementing Service 240, for about $1.7 million.
ComfortDelgro Bus, a subsidiary of transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp, was awarded a service from Bedok MRT station to Chai Chee Drive to complement Service 222, for a sum of about $1 million.
They are part of five routes that were tendered out last September. But the one from Woodlands bus interchange to Marsiling Road was not awarded as the bids submitted were either not compliant with the tender requirements or not competitively priced, the LTA said.
All four services will run at least five trips per hour during peak periods on weekday mornings and evenings, excluding public holidays. More trips may be added if demand picks up.
The services are part of an expanding Bus Services Enhancement Programme that the Government is financing. The programme was initially estimated to cost $1.1 billion, but the eventual figure is likely to exceed that.