1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded contracts for six City Direct services to five private bus operators (PBOs) under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). The six routes will operate from Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok/ Hillview, Jurong East, Sembawang, Sengkang and West Coast to the Central Business District (CBD) during the morning peak, and in the return direction during the evening peak.
2. These new bus services will be launched progressively in the first half of 2014. With limited stops and the use of expressways, journey times will be comparable to that of taking a bus or LRT and transferring to the MRT into the city.
3. The Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang services are awarded to Ren Quan Transport at a sum of about $1.13 million and $1.28 million respectively. ComfortDelGro Bus Pte Ltd is awarded the Bukit Batok/ Hillview service at a sum of $0.9 million, while Loh Gim Chong is awarded the Sembawang service at a sum of $1.16 million. Transtar Travel Pte Ltd and Woodlands Transport Service Pte Ltd are awarded the Jurong East and West Coast services at a sum of $1.45 million and $1.23 million respectively. The total value of the contracts is about $7.16 million.
4. Three of the nine City Direct services that were tendered out in June 2013 are not awarded, as they either only received bids that were not compliant with the tender requirements, or did not receive sufficiently competitive bids to comply with Government procurement principles. The three services (Bedok, Eunos and Hougang) are expected to be re-tendered by end November.
5. The six new City Direct services will make two one-way trips on weekday mornings from the respective housing estates to the CBD, and two one-way return trips in the evenings. More trips may be added depending on the demand for the services. The bus services will operate during weekday peak periods, excluding public holidays. Further details will be announced closer to the implementation dates.
Tenders for City Direct Services
6. In line with the Minister for Transport’s announcement at the Committee of Supply 2013 to tap on the resources of PBOs to augment those of the public transport operators (PTOs), 14 parallel bus services will be introduced under BSEP, an increase from eight previously. Four will be operated by the PTOs1 and ten others will be operated by the PBOs as City Direct services through competitive tenders. The tendering process allows the most cost-efficient operators to win the rights to operate the services. Successful operators will have to apply for bus service licences from the Public Transport Council (PTC), which regulates bus services.
7. The first City Direct bus service to Jurong West was awarded to private bus operator ComfortDelGro Bus Pte Ltd with a value of about $1.1 million over a two-year period. The service started operation on 2 September 2013.
Annex: Route map of the six new City Direct bus services
1 The four parallel bus services operated by public transport operators are:
SBST 513 implemented on 17 Dec 2012 between Tampines West and the CBD
SMRT 850E implemented on 18 Feb 2013 between Yishun and the CBD
SMRT 982E implemented on 18 Mar 2013 between Choa Chu Kang and the CBD
SMRT 951E implemented on 17 Jun 2013 between Woodlands and the CBD