School Bus Operators

Published Date: 14 January 2019 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye, Tanjong Pagar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) how do schools decide on the engagement of school bus operators; (b) what are the main considerations for awarding a contract to school bus operators; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider issuing a fee guideline for school bus operators.

Response

1. Schools select school bus operators through a competitive bidding process and award contracts to the operators that best meet their needs. The competitiveness of bus fares proposed is one of the key evaluation factors considered by schools. Other factors include good track records and ability of bus operators to meet the needs of individual schools such as number and capacity of buses, and route coverage. Fares will vary among schools and students depending on routes and distances travelled, and number of students on a particular route.

2. In Jan 2015, MOE enhanced the bidding process for school bus services so that schools can reach out to more bus operators to obtain more competitive offers. Schools publish the contracted bus fares of the successful school bus operators on the Information Notice Board for School Bus Services which is available on MOE’s website. This serves as a reference and guide for schools in selecting the most suitable school bus operator which offers the best value for money.

3. As school bus services are customised to meet the needs of individual schools and parents, a specific fee guideline may not help schools in their selection for school bus operators. Moreover, it may discourage bus operators coming forward to bid for the services if there are many restrictions and conditions imposed on them. Therefore, it would be better to let school bus fares be determined by the market. The Government on its part has put in place measures to help school bus operators keep their operating costs low so that they can offer more competitive fares.

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