London bus operator Tower Transit Group Limited has been awarded the historical first major contract for tendered bus services in Singapore.

Tower Transit will earn an estimated total fee of S$556 million (£271 million) over the five-year contract period from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore.

The LTA selected Tower Transit saying that its proposal offered the best value for money and quality - ranking it highest on a combination of quality and price out of all the 8 shortlisted bidders, which included many of the world's largest passenger transport suppliers including Go Ahead from the UK, the Comfort Delgro Group in Singapore, and the French giants Keolis and the RATP/Transdev joint venture.

The new industry model is part of a major restructuring of the public bus industry to provide better service to commuters by opening the market to competition from foreign operators. Tower Transit will operate 26 bus routes from the second quarter of 2016.

The LTA said all tender submissions were evaluated on the same set of criteria through a two-envelope process, which included quality and price - though greater weightage was given to the quality proposals.

The LTA assessed the bids the quality of the bids based on criteria including operational understanding, maintenance, recruitment, workforce and customer service. Chief executive of the LTA Chew Men Leong said: "When you look at Tower Transit's bid, the quality of the proposal shows up in all of these areas. Plus, at a very competitive price. As a result, I think it is very clear to us that their proposal, their bid, is one of the highest quality, that will give us the best value for money and give us the highest confidence in delivering the service standards that we have actually laid out, which commuters will eventually benefit from." Mr Adam Leishman, Group CEO of Tower Transit said “We are obviously delighted in the result for what we believe to be one of the largest urban bus tenders in the world at the moment. And to win based on quality against the world’s best operators is particularly pleasing. The LTA should be commended for running an excellent process and attracting very competitive bids. We are confident in delivering exceptional and value for money bus services to the people of Singapore, and are honoured to be given the chance to do this.”

Chairman of Tower Transit Mr Neil Smith said “as we approach a time of significant reform in the bus industry in the United Kingdom, Government authorities would do well to examine closely what Singapore has achieved. They studied the best models in the world in terms of buses systems delivering superior value for money and quality operations for the community, and settled on the London and Perth (Australia) models as the two best examples.”

“The LTA then combined and customised these leading contracting models for Singapore’s specific requirements. By reducing the barriers to entry for new bidders and equalising the chance of success of bidders, it ensured a highly competitive bid process which meant the LTA could deliver the best value for money and quality bus service for the people of Singapore.

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