Photo of overcrowded SBS bus from Asiaone

In the latest Land Transport Authority (LTA) tender package for the operation of Seletar bus services package, SBS Transit won the tender some S$100 million below fellow tender bidders. The second lowest bidder was also at least a S$30 million away from SBS Transit’s S$480 million bid.

S/No Country Tenderer Price for 5 Years
Amount (S$)
1. Australia Busways Group Pty Ltd 581,832,861.00
2. China / Local Jiaoyun Group / Travel GSH Pte Ltd Consortium 547,589,363.52
3. United Kingdom National Express Group Plc 536,828,068.00
4. Local SBS Transit Ltd 480,332,472.00
5. Local SMRT Buses Ltd 514,522,355.00
6. Local The Go-Ahead Group Plc 576,341,755.00
7. Local / South Korea Tian San Shipping (Private) Limited / Kumho Buslines Co., Ltd Consortium 538,837,888.23
8. Local Tower Transit Singapore Pte. Ltd. 575,797,622.00
571,139,871.00 (Alternative)
9. Local Woodlands Transport Holdings Pte. Ltd 583,442,331.19

The LTA is however unable to explain why SBS’s bid came out so much lower, and released a press statement claiming SBS “obtained the highest score for both quality and price evaluation”. You may read LTA press release here.

SBS Transit has been a major duopoly public transport company leading the depression of drivers’ salaries since Singapore’s independence.

LTA’s tender award process has been in public scrutiny recently with the repeated failures to complete the construction of Braddell Flyover and also a high profile MRT train return to China manufacturers following numerous critical defects found.