Bombardier has informed the TTC that it will deliver five fewer streetcars than scheduled by the end of 2017 as the company misses yet another deadline.
The latest delivery schedule for Bombardier called for the company to deliver 40 streetcars by the end of the year but on Thursday the TTC confirmed that Bombardier has adjusted its schedule yet again and now is only promising to deliver a total of 35 streetcars in 2017.
The adjusted timeline means that the TTC will only have received 65 streetcars by New Year’s Day as opposed to the 70 that it expected to have in its possession by that point.
In July, Bombardier told CP24 that a “very limited, short-term” issue could impact affect its ability to meet its delivery target for 2017 but CEO Andy Byford said at the time that the company had indicated to him that they were still hoping to meet the target despite unspecified issues that made it “challenging.”
“It is a subject of immense frustration. I have run a business so I know that sometimes there are things that are beyond your control but having said that this has gotten to the point of almost a farce in terms of one deadline after another being set and missed,” Mayor Tory told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. “We are taking all reasonable steps that we could be expected to take as a customer. We have said penalty clauses will be invoked, we have said there is going to be legal action but in the end that doesn’t materialize in any new streetcars.”
Bombardier has previously implemented a seven-day work week at its plant in Thunder Bay and begun flying streetcar cabs from Vienna rather than shipping them in order to speed up delivery to the TTC.
The company, however, has continued to struggle to meet its delivery targets.
The initial delivery timeline actually called for 145 streetcars to be in service by now but the TTC has only received 45.
“This is not the result we worked towards and this is not the result we will accept for ourselves and for the people of Toronto,” Bombardier said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “We own this challenge, and we fully intend to do everything necessary to mitigate the impacts.”
Bombardier promises production changes
Bombardier said on Thursday that it will immediately implement a “dual-site production model” to speed up the assembly of the new streetcars and will also be “adding additional suppliers and sources of key components for the vehicles.” As well, the company said that it will meet with all of its suppliers on Nov. 1 to “reinforce” its commitment to speeding up delivery of the streetcars.
“By taking these measures, and increasing its production output to two sites, Bombardier is acting directly on its fundamental objective of getting the high-quality cars it promised to the people of Toronto as quickly as possible,” the statement says.
Though Bombardier has missed numerous deadlines for the delivery of streetcars to the TTC, the company continues to say that it will deliver all 204 streetcars to the TTC by the end of 2019 as scheduled.
Meanwhile, the TTC is pursuing a $50 million legal claim against Bombardier and has also said that it is actively looking into using other suppliers for a future order of up to 100 additional streetcars.
“This is completely unacceptable,” a joint statement issued by TTC CEO Andy Byford and TTC Chair Josh Colle on Thursday reads. “The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand.”
A report from Byford that was to be tabled at a meeting of the TTC commission on Monday previously estimated that Bombardier would fall 10 streetcars short of its latest delivery target.
Speaking with reporters earlier on Thursday, Tory said that while cancelling the contract with Bombardier outright may seem like the correct move it would be one that would ultimately result in even longer delays.
“There are people out there who just say ‘Cancel the contract and buy the streetcars somewhere else.’ I wish it were that easy. If it were that easy that is probably what we would have done but that is not a practical option at this stage,” he said.