How Metrolinx's cuts with Bombardier deal will affect K-W

Metrolinx cutting down its orders on the Bombardier rail car deal means the company can now focus more on delivering service to K-W on time, says regional councillor Tom Galloway.

Regional councillor Tom Galloway says this allows Bombardier to focus on delivering to the region on time

The region says it will be collecting liquidated damages from Bombardier for failing to deliver promised vehicles for the LRT. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)

The recent settlement and shrinkage of Toronto's streetcar order reached between Metrolinx and Bombardier is good news for Waterloo Region.

Regional councillor Tom Galloway says the move will allow the company to now focus on delivering its promised vehicles to the region. 

"This dispute between Metrolinx and Bombardier has been taking up a lot of their capacity in terms of management and oversight of the entire project, so we're feeling quite good that this is going to allow Bombardier to concentrate completely on our order," he said. 

"This is going to allow them to concentrate on completing the manufacturing process and not on the legal process," he said. 

Metrolinx, the transportation provider for the Greater Toronto Area, announced on Thursday its decision to cut down the multimillion-dollar deal with the Montreal company, reducing their order from 182 rails to 76. 

With Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto Area transportation provider, cutting down their deal with Bombardier, this will allow the company to focus on delivering the parts to Kitchener-Waterloo, said Waterloo Region councillor Tom Galloway. 

Waterloo Region contracted Bombardier to deliver 14 vehicles for the LRT by December of this year. Unfortunately, the company has been late "a couple of times" in its delivery. 

"We're not happy that they are late," he said. "We're supposed to be in full-fare service by now, [but] at least all the vehicles are in production, so that's certainly a good sign." 

Galloway said the region has ordered the same light rail vehicles as the GTA, except the ones for Kitchener-Waterloo will be in a different colour scheme. The region is paying the company $96 million to deliver all the parts. 

"We officially had to order these vehicles in August of 2013. So four years later, you really do expect a company to be able to deliver the vehicles," he said. 

Galloway said reasons for the delay include the company having to relocate their production from Thunder Bay to Kingston.  

"It's something they probably should've done a few years earlier," Galloway noted.  

A photo tweeted by the @rideIONrt account showed the first ION car as it was being prepared for its trip to Waterloo region from Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant in June. (@rideIONrt/Twitter)

Costs, alternatives

Galloway says the region is still expecting the LRT to start running in spring of next year. If not, he said the region will keep negotiating with the company as it claims its liquidated damages. 

"We do have liquidated damages that we're expecting to collect, but the amount of liquidated damages in the contract have already been exceeded," said Galloway. 

"We have given notice to Bombardier that we are going to claim additional costs associated with the delay because the system is ready to go and we were expecting revenue, which we're not getting." 

Galloway said it would be impossible for the region to get another supplier, because there are none available. 

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said the 106 Bombardier vehicles that were to be used on the two lines in Toronto will be replaced by 61 larger cars purchased through a $528-million agreement signed last spring with Alstom, a European-based rail car builder.