Eight of the 10 bidders vying for the second government bus contract have been shortlisted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The eventual winner of the tender, which was called in April, will operate 25 bus services in the Punggol and Pasir Ris area.
The shortlisted bidders for this Loyang package comprise three local companies, four foreign players and a Singapore-South Korea consortium.
According to tender information published on the LTA's website yesterday, the lowest bid for the five-year contract was $498 million, submitted by Britain's Go-Ahead Group.
Australia's Busways Group put in the highest bid of $631 million.
The first government bus contract, to run 26 routes in the western part of the island, was won by London-based Tower Transit with an offer of $556 million.
The bids for the inaugural tender ranged from $453 million to $693 million.
For this round,the eight shortlisted bidders and their offers are:
- Busways Group: $631 million
- RATP Dev Transdev Asia (France): $604 million
- SMRT Buses: $598 million
- Tian San Shipping (Singapore) and Kumho Construction & Engineering (South Korea): $570 million
- SBS Transit: $546 million
- Keolis SA (France): $535 million
- Woodlands Transport Holdings: $532 million
- The Go-Ahead Group: $498 million
Two consortiums did not make the cut: One comprised China's Jiaoyun Group Corporation and local firm Travel GSH, and the other was Singapore's Kok Tong Transport & Engineering Works and China's Jinan Public Transportation.
The Loyang bus tender is expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of this year.
The winning firm or consortium will start operating the bus routes from the second half of next year. Of the 25 services, 22 are existing routes run by SBS Transit, with three new ones to be added.
The LTA uses a two-envelope tender system, in which submissions are evaluated for quality and price, with more weight given to the quality proposal submitted by the tenderers.