Bids invited for London Underground free paper deal

Transport for London has today launched the tender process for the contract to provide a free morning newspaper on the London Underground.

The current contract, which was awarded to Associated Newspapers‘ Metro newspaper in 1999, is due to expire next March.

TfL announced this morning that it was seeking expressions of interest from potential bidders by no later than 3 June.

The winner will have the exclusive right to distribute free papers at 250 Underground stations and 20 bus stations between 6am and 11.30am each weekday.

Bidders are required to show a commitment to reducing and recycling waste and the winner is required to remove any remaining newspapers from the stations at the end of each morning.

TfL said the length of the contract has been cut from 11 years to seven and a half. An announcement on the winner is expected in late 2009.

London Underground interim managing director Richard Parry said in a statement: “The free morning newspaper is part of the fabric of city life and a success story for the publisher and our passengers alike.

“Londoners tell us it makes their daily Tube and bus journeys better and the contract has generated millions of pounds which have gone straight in to funding transport improvements across the capital.

“We believe that the new free morning newspaper contract remains a unique opportunity to bring value to over one billion journeys in London each year.”

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