AMT cancels $103M contract proposal destined for Bombardier

The AMT has rejected Bombardier’s proposal for new commuter trains worth worth $103 million and is now preparing a new call for tenders aimed at attracting foreign bids.

Montreal-based transportation giant submitted plans based on Metrolinx trains, failed to meet AMT specs

The AMT is preparing a new call for tenders and hoping to attract proposals from foreign companies. (AMT)

The agency that co-ordinates commuter train services for the greater Montreal region, the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), has rejected Bombardier's proposal for new trains, a contract potentially worth $103 million.

The AMT is now preparing a new call for tenders with the aim of attracting proposals from foreign companies. 

Last December, the AMT launched a call for tenders to build new trains for the Candiac, Vaudreuil–Dorion and Saint-Jérôme commuter lines.

Bombardier was the only applicant.

Bombardier's proposal was rejected because rather than meet the specifications of the AMT, the Montreal-based transportation company submitted plans based on the trains they are already building for Toronto's Metrolinx system.

What the AMT wants

"What the [Bombardier] trains contained did not meet our demands," AMT spokesperson Fanie St-Pierre told CBC's French-language service, Radio-Canada.

The AMT wants computer screens in its trains that show the next station, a communication system and a system which detects the number of passengers in the cars.

The timeline also did not match up with the what the AMT has asked for. 

The AMT needs the trains delivered in less than two years, but Bombardier said it would need at least six additional months.

Bombardier reacts

"We submitted an offer that we believed was the best possible one we could submit to our potential customer," Bombardier spokesman Marc-Andre Lefebvre said. 

"They chose to reject the offer. We don't take any offence to that. Bids are lost and won all over the world every day." 

Lefebvre added that the modifications the AMT wanted required changes in Bombardier's production line which would not be financially beneficial for either party.

Headaches from existing Bombardier contracts

This is not the first time Bombardier has failed to meet its contractual deadlines.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is currently embroiled in conflict with Bombardier over its failure to deliver streetcars on time.

The manufacturer was to have delivered 70 streetcars to the TTC by now, but it now says it will only be able to deliver 30 of the new cars by the end of this year.

Bombardier has been blaming a plant in Mexico for delivering poor quality or late parts to the Thunder Bay, Ont., facility where the mass transit vehicles are produced. 

with files from Radio-Canada and Rebecca Ugolini