The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received 10 bids for the second government bus tender, which closed at noon yesterday.
The winning bidder will run 25 bus routes in the Punggol and Pasir Ris area under the Loyang package.
Of the bids, three were submitted by local firms, four by foreign players and three by joint ventures.
The tender is expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of this year, and the winning firm will start running the 25 services - three new routes and 22 currently operated by SBS Transit - from the second half of next year.
Local companies bidding are SBS Transit, SMRT and Woodlands Transport, while the foreign entities are Busways (Australia), Keolis (France), RATP Dev Transdev
Local companies: SBS Transit, SMRT and Woodlands Transport
Foreign firms: Busways (Australia), Keolis (France), RATP Dev Transdev Asia (RDTA) (France), and Go-Ahead (Britain)
Consortiums: Travel GSH (Singapore) and Jiaoyun Group Corp (China); Kok Tong Transport & Engineering Works (Singapore) and Jinan Public Transportation Corp (China); and Tian San Shipping (Singapore) and Kumho Construction & Engineering (South Korea)
Asia (RDTA) (France) and Go-Ahead (Britain).
The consortiums are: Travel GSH (Singapore) and Jiaoyun Group Corp (China); Kok Tong Transport & Engineering Works (Singapore) and Jinan Public Transportation Corp (China); and Tian San Shipping (Singapore) and Kumho Construction & Engineering (South Korea).
All the firms took part in the first tender, with the exception of the Tian San-Kumho consortium and Kok Tong, which is now teaming up with Jinan.
New bidder Tian San's business development director Mark Ko said: "Kumho is the biggest express bus company in Korea... while Tian San has been established in Singapore for 45 years. We bring the best of both worlds to this bid."
Asked about its chances, a spokesman for Go-Ahead said: "We believe that our experience in the UK, operating under a similar contracting model in high-density urban areas, stands us in good stead in Singapore."
Meanwhile, RDTA chief executive Emmanuel Vivant said it has placed commuters in the centre of all its plans and has presented "concrete proposals to improve quality and service reliability".
Missing from the bidders list this time is Singapore's Aedge Holdings and London-based firm Tower Transit. The latter beat 10 other firms to win the inaugural Bulim bus package with a $556 million offer. It has a five-year contract to run 26 routes in the western part of the island.
Explaining why it did not participate this time, Tower Transit's chief executive Adam Leishman said the company is focusing its energies on the Bulim package.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the Serangoon Integrated Transport Hub yesterday, said: "We are going to evaluate the bids over the next 10 weeks or so... Again, it will be based on quality and price, same factors as what we used last time."
Under the government contracting model, buses and infrastructure are 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.