The Toronto Transit Commission wants the city to consider legal action against the maker of its new streetcar fleet, Bombardier, after the company told the TTC it will only be able to deliver 16 working streetcars by the end of the year.

The TTC says it was told yesterday by Bombardier that instead of the 23 streetcars expected to be in the hands of the commission by the end of 2015, they will likely only have 19, with 16 of the vehicles fit for service on Toronto streets.

Once the TTC takes delivery of a streetcar, it must be thoroughly inspected and tested before it is put into service.

“They have given us a host of excuses,” TTC CEO Andy Byford told CP24 on Friday. “Bombardier has been incapable of sticking to their production schedule so far.”

TTC staff is recommending that the TTC board “commence legal action, or make a claim allowed for already in the contract, of $50 million for late delivery,” against Bombardier.

Staff is also asking officials to consider seeking other damages from Bombardier to cover the costs of maintaining its existing, ageing streetcar fleet to cover the gap, customer impact costs incurred by using buses to cover under-resourced streetcar routes, as well as the cost of TTC staff time spent dealing with the late deliveries.

Bombardier originally committed to delivering 67 streetcars to the TTC by October 2015. There are only 10 in service today.

Bombardier spokesperson Marc-André Lefebvre said production issues concerning electrical connectors on two streetcars under construction have delayed their delivery to the TTC.

“In order to address this situation and to ensure that it continues to produce the highest quality vehicles, Bombardier estimates that it will now deliver, this year, four streetcars less than previously announced,” Lefebvre wrote in a statement.

He added that the company is adding a third daily shift of workers at its Thunder Bay, Ont. plant where the streetcars are produced in an attempt to speed up production.

TTC staff says the few new streetcars they do have in service perform remarkably well.

But that’s not enough for TTC Chair Josh Colle.

“They have let down the TTC, our customers, the good workers in Thunder Bay, and all Toronto residents,” Colle said in a news release. “We will not let Bombardier's incompetence hold our patient and loyal customers hostage. We will consider all legal and financial actions at our disposal to address this situation."

The TTC board will discuss the delayed delivery at its meeting on Oct. 28.