New streetcar delays could be in the cards, Byford says

Bombardier may be on the verge of reneging on its most recent promise to deliver new streetcars to the TTC by the end of the year, commission CEO Andy Byford admitted Wednesday.

Bombardier promised 30 by the end of 2016 but only 22 on the rails so far

TTC CEO Andy Byford expressed skepticism Wednesday about Bombardier's ability to deliver eight new streetcars by the end of the year. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Bombardier may be on the verge of renegging on its most recent promise to deliver new streetcars by the end of the year, TTC CEO Andy Byford admitted Wednesday.

Byford told a meeting of TTC commissioners that he has 22 of the new streetcars in service now, and that Bombardier has pledged he'll have a total of 30 by the end of this year.

However, given their production schedule so far, "I'm beginning to wonder if we will indeed get 30 by the end of the year.

"I've had more schedules than streetcars, so I have a healthy skepticism," Byford said.

In addition to 30 cars by the end of 2016, he said the current schedule calls for another 40 by the end of next year, an additional 76 in 2018, and the full order — 204 new streetcars — by the end of 2019.

"That schedule looks unrealistic," he said. Even so, there's little the TTC can do, "other than us building the cars ourselves," Byford said.

"Up their game"

"They've delayed, delayed, delayed, but the end date doesn't shift," he told the commissioners. "They're going to have to up their game."

He said Bombardier has said it's setting up a second production line at its Thunder Bay plant to fill the TTC order, but that line won't be up and running until early next year.

Late last year, the TTC voted to sue Bombardier over the delays.

TTC CEO Andy Byford says there's no way to ensure the TTC gets the streetcars it has ordered in time, "other than us building the cars ourselves." (CBC)

In 2009, the TTC paid Bombardier more than $1-billion for 204 streetcars, By late last year, only 10 had been delivered.

Bombardier has blamed the delays on faulty parts from its supplier in Mexico, labour trouble, the intricate nature of the new streetcars and staff changes.


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