Bombardier offered multiple reasons it’s so far behind on delivery of new streetcars to Toronto, the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission says.
Josh Colle travelled with TTC CEO Andy Byford to the company’s manufacturing plant in Thunder Bay to sit down with executives for a progress report.
Sixty of the state-of-the-art transit vehicles — which are built by the company’s plant in Thunder Bay — were supposed to be rolling through Toronto by now, but only five are currently in service.
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Colle said Bombardier cited everything from changes to their production line to the intricacies of the vehicle to staffing changes.
It all sounded excellent, he said. “My question was why is this only happening now?” he told host Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
‘Business as usual’
Colle said he wants to receive the new vehicles at a rate of one every five days at some point this summer.
The TTC paid billions for 204 streetcars from Bombardier in 2009.
Colle said he wishes there was more leverage in the contract but notes the company has paid $50 million in penalties. They’re also putting their option for a further 60 streetcars above the first 204 at risk, he said.
Bombardier declined an interview request, saying the meeting with the Toronto officials was “business as usual.”
Colle said he disagrees, and that the company realizes the “reputational damage they may be doing to themselves.”
He said he thinks the visit and the media attention it’s received is a motivator for the company.
“The true test will be when we receive the next one,” he said.