Thunder Bay

Bombardier quality control problems delay TTC streetcar delivery

Bombardier Transportation says it has fixed the problems that led to delays in the delivery of streetcars to the TTC.

55 new streetcars were supposed to be in service by now, only 5 are

The TTC says 52 routes will have service every 10 minutes or fewer by the end of the year. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Bombardier Transportation says it has fixed the problems that led to delays in the delivery of streetcars to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

The manufacturing company said parts shipped to its Thunder Bay plant weren't up to standard.

The total TTC order of 204 streetcars was to be delivered by 2018.  By now, 55 of them were supposed to be in service. But only five currently are and the final cars won't be delivered until 2019. 

Bombardier spokesperson Marc Andre Lefebvre says streetcar delivery delays were in part due to sub-standard parts from some vendors and other branches of the company being sent to Thunder Bay. But he says the problems have been fixed. (Submitted by Bombardier Transportation)
"We've taken important corrective measures to address these issues which have, to date, all been corrected or are in the final stages of being corrected," said Bombardier spokesperson Marc LeFebvre.

The flaws were extensive, according to the TTC's chief executive officer.

"We've had problems with electrical connectors and that concerns us because that could cause the vehicle to break down, literally," Andy Byford said. He also described problems with panels that didn't fit together properly.

LeFebvre said it was both third-party suppliers and internal suppliers that failed to provide parts that were up to standard.   He said the company successfully built two prototypes of the cars, but there were deviations from standards that arose after that. 

"We've acknowledged these quality issues and we've been open and transparent with the TTC and discussed all of this," he said.
TTC's Andy Byford says the five new Bombardier streetcars that are in service are "superb." (YouTube)

Byford praised Bombardier for its transparency throughout the process and said the five new cars now in service are superb. 

"The acid test will be ... do we achieve that ramp-up from July and does the production line start to run smoothly and is the quality sufficient to meet our deliberately exacting standards?" Byford said. "So I think time will tell."

There project was delayed right from the start because together, Bombardier and the TTC, had to design a unique ramp that would allow people in wheelchairs to get on and off the vehicle both from islands in the centre of the roadway and from sidewalks.  

Last year's strike at Bombardier in Thunder Bay also slowed production. 


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