SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) called a tender on Tuesday (June 7) for the third Government bus contract - called the Seletar package - to run 26 bus routes from the first half of 2018.
The 24 existing services and two new ones, which will be announced later, will operate from the Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun Bus interchanges, and will be supported by the new Seletar Bus Depot. The depot, located off Yio Chu Kang road, is targeted to be completed by the third quarter of 2017.
The Seletar package will comprise 420 buses, which will swell to about 500 buses in 2023. This is in tandem with new developments and projected growth in ridership, the LTA said in a statement.
The winning firm will get to operate the routes for five years, with a possible two-year extension for good performance. The tender is open to both local and foreign players.
The first tender for 26 routes, called the Bulim package, was clinched by Anglo-Australian firm Tower Transit in May last year (2015), beating local incumbents SBS Transit and SMRT.
Tower Transit launched its first nine routes last month (May 2016), with another six more services to start on Sunday (June 12). It will take over 11 more services on June 26.
The second tender for 25 routes was won by British-firm Go-Ahead in November (2015), which will start services from the third quarter of this year.
Bus contracting is part of the Government's move to restructure the industry, to provide higher quality service for commuters.
Under the contracting regime, buses and infrastructure are owned by the Government, with bus routes tendered out to operators, which will focus on meeting service standards.
The LTA said that tenders are evaluated on a two-envelope process for quality and price, with more weightage given to the quality proposals.
The existing bus services under the Seletar package are: 24, 70, 76, 130, 133, 135, 138, 162, 261, 262, 265, 268, 269, 800, 803, 804, 805, 806, 811, 812, 850E, 851, 852 and 860.