The TTC is taking some of its new streetcars out of service
The Toronto Transit Commission has started the process of sending 67 brand new, Flexity streetcars back to Bombardier for repairs.
It's not something transit officials want to do, but the Montreal-based aerospace firm hasn't really left them much choice.
Either Toronto sends back most of the low-floor streetcars it's acquired to date, or it risks having the expensive new vehicles fail before their 30-year-life expectancy is up.
Yup. Bombardier isn't only late on delivering the TTC's $1-billion order for 204 streetcars, it's now pulling cars back over what the agency calls "inferior frame welds."
As explained by the company in July, this problem poses no threat to public safety. Still, it's a problem that must be dealt with and can't be dealt with here. So back the streetcars go, much to the chagrin of all involved.
The Toronto Star reported today that the TTC quietly began taking new streetcars out of service in September and putting them onto flatbed rail cars destined for La Pocatière, Quebec.
Only two have gone so far, but they're taking a lot longer to repair than Bombardier had initially predicted (go figure).
Back in July, Bombardier said that each of the 67 cars would take approximately 19 weeks to fix.
In reality, it will take "closer to nine months for the first few cars," according to The Star. TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told the paper that future repairs should take less time as Bombardier optimizes its process.
Fortunately, the TTC is only sending a few cars at a time to Quebec in order to minimize the impact on transit service. The hope is that Bombardier can deliver the rest of the cars they owe Toronto, and soon, so that we don't see a repeat of last winter.
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