Bombardier may miss another streetcar delivery deadline
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 4:39PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, July 12, 2017 7:23PM EDT
The new TTC streetcar is shown in this still photo from a demo video. (YouTube / TTC)
The TTC will consider using alternate suppliers for future streetcar orders amid news that Bombardier may miss yet another delivery target.
The TTC has an option in its contract with Bombardier to purchase another 60 streetcars on top of the 204 it has already ordered but on Wednesday its board voted in favour of a motion to conduct a “market sounding and prequalification process” to determine whether there may be other companies interested in bidding on the contract.
The vote came after TTC CEO Andy Byford informed the board that Bombardier’s revised target of delivering a total of 70 streetcars by the end of 2017 is now at risk.
“They (Bombardier) have confirmed with me that 70 is still the year-end target as per previous commitments but they have said to me that that figure is now challenging so I will keep you closely posted,” Byford said. “We will see what happens. The key issue I think is over the forthcoming months.”
Bombardier is supposed to deliver all 204 streetcars owed to the TTC by the end of 2019 but the company has repeatedly fallen behind on its schedule, in part due to quality issues that have prompted the TTC to refuse delivery of some streetcars.
In a statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday, Bombardier did not reveal the precise issue which could impact its ability to meet its delivery target for the end of 2017 but noted that is a “very limited, short-term” one.
The company added that is deploying “extraordinary resources” to meet its delivery targets, including implementing a seven-day work week at its plant in Thunder Bay and flying streetcar cabs from Vienna rather than shipping them.
“Since launching its turnaround plan last year, Bombardier has met every single quarterly delivery commitment in the past twelve months and our focus and dedication remain entirely the same” the statement reads. “We are still fully on track to deliver the entire fleet of 204 streetcars by the original contract deadline of 2019.”
The statement continued to say Bombardier is paying $750,000 per flight to ship the new streetcar cabs to its facility in Thunder Bay, something it said should be seen as a “reinforcement” of the company’s commitment to the TTC and Toronto transit riders.. Bombardier said the flights mean that the cabs are arriving in Canada a month ahead of schedule.
“All cards are on the table. No stone will be left unturned,” the statement reads.
Addressing board members at Wednesday’s meeting, Byford said he continues to hold Bombardier’s “feet to the fire” but is limited in what he can do.
The TTC is suing Bombardier to recoup a $50 million penalty for late delivery, however that number is somewhat incidental in the grander scheme of a contract that is valued at $1.2 billion.
“I continue to hold their feet to the fire. We went through unit by unit yesterday and fault by fault both in terms of delivery and quality aspects,” Byford said Wednesday.
The TTC recently received its 40th streetcar, though not all of them are in service. It must decide whether or not to exercise its option for additional streetcars prior to the delivery of the 60th vehicle.