SINGAPORE - The Bukit Merah bus package, the fourth under the Government Bus Contracting Model, was put up on Friday (April 28) by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The package is made up of 18 bus services, including cross-border services to Johor Baru, with about 340 buses, and will operate from the new Ulu Pandan Bus Depot, expected to be completed next year (2018).
Serving Bukit Merah and the Central Business District, bus services under the package will operate from Bukit Merah, Harbourfront and Jurong East Temporary Bus Interchanges, as well as five bus terminals - Buona Vista, Marina Centre, New Bridge Road, Queen Street and Shenton Way.
The 18 services will be operated by the successful bidder for five years, with the possibility of a two-year extension for good performance.
The package will grow to about 390 buses by the end of the contract, in tandem with new developments and projected growth in ridership.
Both local and foreign bus operators may bid for the new package.
Bus services will be progressively implemented in four tranches from the fourth quarter of next year. This will ensure a smooth transition by giving the incoming operator sufficient time to recruit and train bus captains and technicians, said the LTA.
All tender submissions will be evaluated through a two-envelope process for quality and price. More weightage will given to the quality of proposals submitted.
As staff may have to move from one employer to another, the LTA said the Public Transport Tripartite Committee will continue to "engage the various stakeholders to safeguard the welfare of bus sector employees during the transition".
Earlier this month (April), SBS Transit won the Seletar package - the third under the bus contracting model - with a bid of $480.3 million, to operate 26 routes from Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun bus interchanges.