SBS Transit (SBST), Singapore's largest bus operator, has clinched a $472 million deal to run 18 services in the Bukit Merah area, with three being cross-border routes into Johor Baru.
Its winning bid was the third highest in a tender which drew six bidders last April.
In a media statement yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said SBST won because of the quality of its bid as well as its value for money.
"SBST was awarded the contract because its proposal demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the operational considerations and strong competence in bus service scheduling that would enable the optimal deployment of buses and resources," it said.
The LTA said the five-year operating contract will commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Bukit Merah package involves 18 routes, with buses housed at the new Ulu Pandan Bus Depot, which will have solar panels to reduce electricity cost by up to 15 per cent. It is the fourth competitive contract and also the first of "negotiated" packages with incumbent operators.
The latest bus package will serve Bukit Merah and the Central Business District, with buses plying Harbourfront and Jurong East interchanges, as well as Buona Vista, Marina Centre, New Bridge Road, Queen Street and Shenton Way bus terminals.
The package will start with about 340 buses, and will grow to about 390 buses by the end of the five-year contract.
Of the 18 services, 170, 170A and 160 go to Johor Baru.
It was the second win for SBST, which clinched the 26-route Seletar package with the lowest bid of $480.3 million last April.
The first two bus packages - Bulim and Loyang - were won by Anglo-Australian operator Tower Transit and British firm Go-Ahead for $556 million and $497.7 million, respectively.