British Group Go-Ahead Wins Second Bus Contract

British transport operator, Go-Ahead group, has been awarded the second government bus contract making it the second foreign player, after London based Tower Transit. These two companies will run the Government’s bus contracting model, as it moves to increase competition in public bus services.

Go-Ahead will operate the Loyang package of 25 bus services in Pasir Ris and Punggol, including three new routes, in two phases from the third quarter of 2016. It will also manage the existing Pasir Ris and Punggol bus interchanges as well as the new Loyang Bus Depot, taking over from SBS Transit in December 2015.

This is Go-Ahead's first bus contract outside Britain, but the company is confident that its 26 years of expertise in bus scheduling, route management and maintenance regimes will help meet the performance standards laid out by the authorities.

The Land Transport Authority said it evaluates the bus contract bids based on a two-envelope process, with quality having a higher weightage and being evaluated before price. Go-Ahead had the highest combined total score on quality, but this was closely matched by other companies. Hence, the deciding factor was price. Go-Ahead submitted the lowest bid of $497.7 million, beating seven other bidders, including local operators SBS Transits and SMRT. The contract is valid for five years with a possibility of a two year extension. 

What are your thoughts on more foreign operators managing the public transport system?

Sources: “Second Bus Contract Goes to another foreign player” The Straits Times, 24 November 2015.
“Go-Ahead’s drivers trained to handle delays” The Straits Times, 24 November, 2015.

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