Most of Toronto's new streetcars are going back to Bombardier for repairs
The comedy of errors that is Bombardier's commitment to the TTC continues this week with news that, after months upon months of setbacks and delays, 67 of Toronto's 89 new low-floor streetcars must now be sent back to Quebec for repairs.
Toronto Transit Commission spokesperson Brad Ross confirmed on Wednesday that the majority of Flexity streetcars we've received from Bombardier to date came with "inferior frame welds."
The problem poses no risk to public safety, he says, but must be corrected to ensure these vehicles don't fail before their 30-year life expectancy is up.
Not acceptable. Our city is choking on congestion. Bombardier must be be pressed for a better solution: like setting up shop in close proximity to Toronto to mitigate delays. https://t.co/jgwczSjxjZ— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) July 4, 2018
It will take Bombardier approximately 19 weeks, each, to repair all 67 streetcars at its plant in La Pocatière, Quebec.
The mass maintenance job won't be finished until 2022, but TTC officials hope to minimize the impact by sending defective vehicles back to Bombardier in groups of just three or four at a time.
Ross says that, as long as the rest of the 204-total streetcar order is delivered on time, transit service shouldn't be much affected. That said, the issue is "incredibly disappointing."
"We need these cars in service," said Ross to the Star, which broke the story on Tuesday.
I have made no secret about my extreme frustration with this streetcar deal that was signed by a previous City Council back in 2009 and Bombardier's slow progress in actually delivering the vehicles bought and paid for by Toronto taxpayers.— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 4, 2018
Mayor John Tory said similarly that he is extremely frustrated by the disastrous $1-billion streetcar deal, which should have put 150 new, longer TTC streetcars on the road by the end of 2017 (we had 59 at the time.)
Tory also said that he wants Bombardier to compensate the TTC if repairs inconvenience transit riders.
The Montreal-based aerospace and transportation firm had already confirmed that it will be covering the cost of the actual maintenance work, and remains optimistic about reaching its latest deadline.
As previously reported, the company is in the process of setting up a second production line at its plant in Kingston, Ont. to ensure it delivers an entire fleet of 204 streetcars to Toronto by the end of 2019.
Fingers crossed. As Ross himself said, we really do need those cars in service.
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