Private bus operators invited to submit cost proposals to operate these services
1. Commuters travelling to the city will benefit from improved connectivity with nine new City Direct bus services in areas like Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Eunos, Hougang, Jurong East, Sembawang, Sengkang and West Coast to the Central Business District (CBD). These new bus services will be launched progressively from January 2014 to second quarter of 2014. With limited stops and the use of expressways, commuters using these services would have comparable journey time to taking a connecting bus or LRT service and transferring to the MRT into the city.
2. For a start, all the nine new City Direct services will make two one-way trips on weekday mornings from the respective housing estates towards the CBD. Similarly, two one-way trips will take commuters back home from the city in the evenings. More trips may be added depending on the demand for the services. The bus services will operate on weekday peak periods excluding public holidays. More details will be announced closer to the implementation date.
3. LTA has called a tender today to invite private bus operators to submit their cost proposals to operate these nine new City Direct bus services as part of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). The tendering process will allow 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 buses.
4. The move is in line with the Transport Minister’s announcement at the Committee of Supply 2013 to tap on the resources of private bus operators to run more City Direct bus services to augment the resources of the public transport operators (PTOs). This will bring the total number of parallel bus services to be introduced under BSEP to 14, from eight previously, with 10 operated by private bus operators and four by the PTOs1.
First contract to operate Jurong West City Direct awarded
5. The contract to operate the Jurong West City Direct bus service – the first under BSEP – has been awarded to private bus operator ComfortDelGro Bus Pte Ltd. ComfortDelGro Bus submitted the lowest bid - at about $1,058,560 over a two-year period - that was able to fully meet the tender requirements. The Jurong West City Direct bus service will be introduced in September 2013.
 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, to be rolled-out on 17 Jun 2013, will provide connection between Woodlands and the CBD