SINGAPORE - Incumbent SBS Transit was awarded the third bus package with the lowest bid of $480.3m.
It will operate 26 bus routes running from the Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun bus interchanges to Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah and Eunos interchanges from the first quarter of next year.
SBS Transit will manage Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang interchanges as well as take charge of the upcoming Seletar Bus Depot, scheduled to open in the third quarter of this year.
The Land Transport Authority, which made the announcement on Wednesday (April 19), said it received a total of nine bids for the package.
Other bidders included first-time bidder National Express, which operates bus services in Britain; Australia's Busways; local company Woodlands Transport and two consortiums Kumho Buslines-Tian San Shipping and Travel GSH-Jiaoyun Group.
Existing players SMRT, Go-Ahead and Tower Transit also made bids.
Under the bus contracting model, the Government owns all fixed and operating assets while operators focus on meeting service standards.
The first bus tender, for the Bulim package, was awarded to Anglo-Australian firm Tower Transit with a bid of $556 million; it currently operates 26 services in the west of Singapore.
The second tender was awarded to Go-Ahead from Britain for $497.7 million. Go-Ahead currently runs 25 services in Pasir Ris and Punggol.
The LTA said that SBS Transit was awarded the contract as it had the highest combined total score for both quality and price.
"In its tender submission, SBST demonstrated a comprehensiveunderstanding of ground conditions and strong competence in bus service scheduling to enable the optimal deployment of buses and resources to meet travel demand," it said in a statement.
It added that SBST also proposed a stringent maintenance regime for bus assets and infrastructure and will commit a significant number of experienced technicians to maintenance works.
SBST will also have a robust career development program for staff, said LTA.