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LONDON Regional Transport is expected to announce the results of its first batch of route tenders later this month.
Eighteen operators, including London Buses and London Country, bid for the first 13 outer London routes on offer. A further batch of routes will be put out to tender this year.
The successful operators will have a three-year contract to operate the routes to LRT requirements.
LRT is also reported to be looking at ways of providing a bonding system for the franchised operators to safeguard the routes against an operator's failure,
• LRT has confirmed that five of its bus garages are to close in the next two years.
The move is part of a bid to improve the cost-effectiveness of the bus business and take account of the reduced bus fleet currently 5,100 vehicles.
The garages are at Battersea, Poplar, Edmonton, Walworth and Southall.