TTC says Bombardier will deliver 5 fewer streetcars than promised by end of 2017
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:54AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:28PM EDT
Bombardier has informed the TTC that it will deliver five fewer streetcars than scheduled by the end of 2017 as the company misses yet another deadline.
The latest delivery schedule for Bombardier called for the company to deliver 40 streetcars by the end of the year but on Thursday the TTC confirmed that Bombardier has adjusted its schedule yet again and now is only promising to deliver a total of 35 streetcars in 2017.
The adjusted timeline means that the TTC will only have received 65 streetcars by New Year’s Day as opposed to the 70 that it expected to have in its possession by that point.
In July, Bombardier told CP24 that a “very limited, short-term” issue could impact affect its ability to meet its delivery target for 2017 but CEO Andy Byford said at the time that the company had indicated to him that they were still hoping to meet the target despite unspecified issues that made it “challenging.”
“It is a subject of immense frustration. I have run a business so I know that sometimes there are things that are beyond your control but having said that this has gotten to the point of almost a farce in terms of one deadline after another being set and missed,” Mayor Tory told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. “We are taking all reasonable steps that we could be expected to take as a customer. We have said penalty clauses will be invoked, we have said there is going to be legal action but in the end that doesn’t materialize in any new streetcars.”
Bombardier has previously said 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.
The company, however, continues to struggle to meet its delivery targets, though it has repeatedly maintained that it will be able to deliver all 204 streetcars to the TTC by the end of 2019 as scheduled.
The initial delivery timeline actually called for 145 streetcars to be in service by now but in a statement issued on Thursday the TTC said that it has only received 45 streetcars so far.
“This is completely unacceptable. The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand,” the statement said.
The TTC is pursuing a $50 million legal claim against Bombardier and has also said that it is actively looking into using other suppliers for a future order of up to 100 additional streetcars.
TTC officials have ruled out cancelling its existing contract with Bombardier, though.
“There are people out there who just say ‘Cancel the contract and buy the streetcars somewhere else.’ I wish it were that easy. If it were that easy that is probably what we would have done but that is not a practical option at this stage,” Tory said.