Streetcar manufacturer Bombardier commits to new schedule after missing previous deadlines.
In a statement made today by TTC streetcar manufacturer Bombardier, a revised delivery schedule will see the city’s new vehicles roll out at least one year behind schedule.
“Bombardier has taken a strategic step back to ensure consistent quality in every step of its manufacturing process, from its sites in Thunder Bay and Sahagún (Mexico) to its critical supply chain,” a spokesperson for the Montreal-based air and railway technology company wrote in a release. “While this may have caused delays, it ensures we produce the highest quality vehicles, as expected by our TTC customer and its riders.”
Bombardier will be “ramping up” its rate of production to ensure a delivery rate of four vehicles per month starting in September. The new plan will allow for the city to see all 204 streetcars by the end of 2019, a year short of the original 2018 deadline.
According to TTC CEO Andy Byford, the manufacturer has delivered seven new streetcars to date—43 streetcars short of the intended plan—with seven currently being serviced on the 510 Spadina and 511 Bathurst lines. The original timeline would have seen 70 deliveries by the end of 2015; instead, 23 deliveries are expected by the end of the year and 70 deliveries by the end of next year.
TTC chair Josh Colle expects TTC board members to penalize Bombardier’s lacklustre performance, saying he is tired of the “shifting goal posts.” In a city hall press conference this morning, Colle stated, “I’m kind of sick of their excuses at this point. I don’t want anymore excuses, I just want our damn streetcars.”
While Bombardier intends on keeping on track with the new schedule, the revised plans put them behind their contracted milestone of 60 new streetcar deliveries by late August, putting them at risk for damages payable to the TTC. Though the TTC’s contract with the manufacturer allows for damages of up to 5 per cent of the total $1.2 billion costs, officials have not yet put a price on the delay.
“I’m certainly pleased to see that they’re finally publicly committing to something,” Colle said. “At the same time, the number that they had earlier committed to us several times is much lower than we had anticipated.
“I think our riders deserve better from Bombardier.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Bombardier had delivered six, not seven, new streetcars at press time. We regret the error.