ComfortDelGro wins contracts to run buses in Manchester

SINGAPORE – Metroline Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro, has won contracts worth £422 million (S$719.8 million), to operate four public-bus franchises in the UK for five years.

It will run buses for Greater Manchester’s Hyde Road, Sharston, Tameside and Wythenshawe franchises, the transport group said in a bourse filing on March 28.

The contracts, awarded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, come with options to be extended for two one-year terms.

Under the contacts, Metroline will operate 232 services with 420 buses and more than 1,350 employees. This will add twice as many services and represent a 30 per cent increase over its London portfolio, ComfortDelGro said.

ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group chief executive officer Cheng Siak Kian said that the group’s track record with transport operations in Greater London and elsewhere in the world means it is “well-placed” to deliver on these contracts.

Mark Greaves, chairman of both ComfortDelGro and Metroline holding company Braddell Limited added: “This aligns with our broader strategy to strengthen and strategically grow our core public transportation and point-to-point businesses and solidify our reputation as the multi-modal transport operator of choice.”

Metroline is the fourth-largest scheduled bus operator in London, operating about 17 per cent of the city’s scheduled bus services.

It is part of ComfortDelGro’s UK operations, which include Argyle Satellite, Adventure Travel, CityFleet Networks, Computer Cab, KingKabs, Scottish Citylink Coaches, Megabus and Westbus Coach Services. Collectively, these companies operate in 23 towns and cities, offering transport services through buses, coaches, taxis and private-hire vehicles.

The counter closed flat at $1.40 on March 28, before the announcement.

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