Editorial Archive

New TTC streetcars must arrive sooner

4/29/16 6:00 AM

Monday’s (April 25) announcement by Bombardier that there has been a further delay in delivery of our new streetcar fleet was hugely disappointing.

As recently as last month, Bombardier promised a ramp-up in delivery to four vehicles per month from April. Since that time, Bombardier has replaced their North America CEO. The replacement CEO, whom I met in a tense meeting at TTC headquarters last week, has concluded that, for now, the best that can be achieved by the end of 2016 is a total of only 16 new cars, giving us just 30 in service — woefully short of the previous total — and that was already a reduction on promises made last year.

While I welcome the new realism coming from Bombardier’s top officials, I made it quite clear that I considered this total to be no more than a worst case scenario, and that I expect positive action to be taken to improve on that figure.

In response, Bombardier has committed to adding capacity to its manufacturing process and to catch up on lost deliveries. An updated delivery schedule is due within two weeks. They also maintain that they will stick to the original end date for the full fleet of 204 cars to be delivered by the end of 2019.

My immediate focus is threefold: First, to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible service on routes that should have converted to the new vehicles by now. We are refurbishing old streetcars and adding buses to maintain service while we wait for new cars to arrive.

Second, to capture and pass these additional costs on to Bombardier, given the delays that this contract has suffered.

And, finally, to continue to press Bombardier for increasingly better performance so that we receive the accessible, air-conditioned vehicles that Toronto badly needs and that you fully deserve.

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