The transport authority has received four bids to run the route bus service for the next 10 years.
In September, eight consortia had expressed interest in the tender and the list was then shortlisted to five. Since then one consortium - Llorente - pulled out of the race and did not submit a bid.
One of the bidders is a consortium formed by Spanish companies Empresa Montforte SA, La Hispano Igualadina SA and Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid SA with Maltese firm FMC Motors Ltd.
The second consortium is French, the Transdev Plus, which runs public transport services in European countries and is made up of the Gasan Group and CVA Technology Limited, which operated the CVA system in Valletta.
The third consortium, Nex Continental Holdings SLV, also operates public transport abroad, including in the US, Spain and the UK.
The fourth bidder is Arriva Malta Consortium, which has a mix of Maltese and foreign interests. This consortium also includes 193 members of the Public Transport Association who formed the company Malta Land Transports plc, and the Tumas Group.
Each bid, opened yesterday at a packed conference hall at the Malta Transport Authority offices in Sa Maison, had to consist of three envelopes: one with a bank guarantee as laid down in the tender documents, another containing a technical offer and the third having details of the financial aspect of the offer.
Malta Transport officials only opened the first envelope of each bidder, just to ensure that the bank guarantee was made. Had it been missing, the bidders would have been excluded from passing on to the next stage.
The process now continues with the evaluation of each aspect of the bids with each being given points according to how good the offer is.
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