Bombardier to fall short on latest streetcar delivery, TTC says

News Oct 12, 2017 by Ben Spurr, Transportation Reporter, Toronto Star City Centre Mirror

Bombardier will miss yet another target on its troubled TTC streetcar order, falling at least five cars short of the 40 it was supposed to deliver this year.

In a statement released Thursday, the Montreal-based rail manufacturer said it will supply 35 streetcars in 2017, for a cumulative total of 65 since the order began. The company blamed the latest delay on “issues with the supply chain.”

“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. We own this challenge, and we fully intend to do everything necessary to mitigate the impacts,” said Bombardier spokesperson Eric Prud’homme.

The company said it is enacting “forceful and far-reaching measures” to improve production, including opening up a second site for final assembly of the vehicles, which are currently manufactured and assembled at its plant in Thunder Bay, Ont. The company also said it would add additional suppliers, and work with current contractors to increase their capacity.

The 35 cars Bombardier is pledging to deliver this year is a more optimistic figure than one published Wednesday in TTC CEO Andy Byford’s report to the transit agency board. In that document, the TTC estimated Bombardier would deliver just 30 cars in 2017.

In a joint statement, Byford and TTC board chair Josh Colle appeared to accept Bombardier’s 35 car estimate. But they called the latest blown deadline “extremely disappointing and frustrating.”

“There should be 146 new streetcars in service today; instead there are just 45. This is completely unacceptable. The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand,” the statement said.

Since the TTC placed the $1-billion, 204-car order with Bombardier in 2009, the company has repeatedly blown delivery schedules, and revised its yearly targets downward four separate times.

According to the latest schedule, which Bombardier gave the TTC in May 2016, the company was supposed to ramp up production and deliver 22 cars in the final three months of the year, for a total of 70. That would require building at least seven streetcars a month, a rate the company has never achieved.

In July, Bombardier alerted Byford it might not be able to meet the 2017 target, due to what it described as a “very limited, short-term issue.” It said it was “deploying extraordinary resources” to keep delivery on track.

Confirmation that the company will miss the target for 2017 represents yet another blow for both the transit agency and Bombardier. While Byford has previously berated the company for overpromising on how quickly it could deliver, the relationship improved last year when Bombardier appointed Benoit Brossoit as its new president for its Americas division.

Byford has praised Brossoit for at least providing the TTC with realistic timelines, but the company has now failed to meet even the lower benchmarks it provided under his watch.

In its statement Thursday, Bombardier asserted “it is still fully on track to deliver the entire fleet of 204 streetcars” by the original contract deadline of the end of 2019. To do so, the company will have to build an average of more than 69 cars a year, twice the number it says it will supply in 2017.

Mayor John Tory expressed what he described as his “immense frustration” with the company on Thursday morning, telling reporters at a SmartTrack news conference that “this has got to the point of almost farce.”

“Having said that, I think we’re taking all reasonable steps,” he said, noting the TTC is suing the company for millions of dollars in penalties for late delivery. The TTC board is also seeking alternative suppliers for its next streetcar purchase.

Tory said it would be impractical to abandon the Bombardier order at this point because it would take a long time to find another supplier.

“I think people would be fooling themselves if they thought we could just cancel the Bombardier contract and move to some other person tomorrow morning and start getting streetcars by Christmas. It’s not going to happen.”

“We’re just going to have to press forward” he said.

With files from David Rider

-Torstar News Service

Bombardier to fall short on latest streetcar delivery, TTC says

Company was supposed to have delivered 146 vehicles by now, but instead has supplied just 45

News Oct 12, 2017 by Ben Spurr, Transportation Reporter, Toronto Star City Centre Mirror

Bombardier will miss yet another target on its troubled TTC streetcar order, falling at least five cars short of the 40 it was supposed to deliver this year.

In a statement released Thursday, the Montreal-based rail manufacturer said it will supply 35 streetcars in 2017, for a cumulative total of 65 since the order began. The company blamed the latest delay on “issues with the supply chain.”

“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. We own this challenge, and we fully intend to do everything necessary to mitigate the impacts,” said Bombardier spokesperson Eric Prud’homme.

The company said it is enacting “forceful and far-reaching measures” to improve production, including opening up a second site for final assembly of the vehicles, which are currently manufactured and assembled at its plant in Thunder Bay, Ont. The company also said it would add additional suppliers, and work with current contractors to increase their capacity.

The 35 cars Bombardier is pledging to deliver this year is a more optimistic figure than one published Wednesday in TTC CEO Andy Byford’s report to the transit agency board. In that document, the TTC estimated Bombardier would deliver just 30 cars in 2017.

In a joint statement, Byford and TTC board chair Josh Colle appeared to accept Bombardier’s 35 car estimate. But they called the latest blown deadline “extremely disappointing and frustrating.”

“There should be 146 new streetcars in service today; instead there are just 45. This is completely unacceptable. The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand,” the statement said.

Since the TTC placed the $1-billion, 204-car order with Bombardier in 2009, the company has repeatedly blown delivery schedules, and revised its yearly targets downward four separate times.

According to the latest schedule, which Bombardier gave the TTC in May 2016, the company was supposed to ramp up production and deliver 22 cars in the final three months of the year, for a total of 70. That would require building at least seven streetcars a month, a rate the company has never achieved.

In July, Bombardier alerted Byford it might not be able to meet the 2017 target, due to what it described as a “very limited, short-term issue.” It said it was “deploying extraordinary resources” to keep delivery on track.

Confirmation that the company will miss the target for 2017 represents yet another blow for both the transit agency and Bombardier. While Byford has previously berated the company for overpromising on how quickly it could deliver, the relationship improved last year when Bombardier appointed Benoit Brossoit as its new president for its Americas division.

Byford has praised Brossoit for at least providing the TTC with realistic timelines, but the company has now failed to meet even the lower benchmarks it provided under his watch.

In its statement Thursday, Bombardier asserted “it is still fully on track to deliver the entire fleet of 204 streetcars” by the original contract deadline of the end of 2019. To do so, the company will have to build an average of more than 69 cars a year, twice the number it says it will supply in 2017.

Mayor John Tory expressed what he described as his “immense frustration” with the company on Thursday morning, telling reporters at a SmartTrack news conference that “this has got to the point of almost farce.”

“Having said that, I think we’re taking all reasonable steps,” he said, noting the TTC is suing the company for millions of dollars in penalties for late delivery. The TTC board is also seeking alternative suppliers for its next streetcar purchase.

Tory said it would be impractical to abandon the Bombardier order at this point because it would take a long time to find another supplier.

“I think people would be fooling themselves if they thought we could just cancel the Bombardier contract and move to some other person tomorrow morning and start getting streetcars by Christmas. It’s not going to happen.”

“We’re just going to have to press forward” he said.

With files from David Rider

-Torstar News Service

Bombardier to fall short on latest streetcar delivery, TTC says

Company was supposed to have delivered 146 vehicles by now, but instead has supplied just 45

News Oct 12, 2017 by Ben Spurr, Transportation Reporter, Toronto Star City Centre Mirror

Bombardier will miss yet another target on its troubled TTC streetcar order, falling at least five cars short of the 40 it was supposed to deliver this year.

In a statement released Thursday, the Montreal-based rail manufacturer said it will supply 35 streetcars in 2017, for a cumulative total of 65 since the order began. The company blamed the latest delay on “issues with the supply chain.”

“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. We own this challenge, and we fully intend to do everything necessary to mitigate the impacts,” said Bombardier spokesperson Eric Prud’homme.

The company said it is enacting “forceful and far-reaching measures” to improve production, including opening up a second site for final assembly of the vehicles, which are currently manufactured and assembled at its plant in Thunder Bay, Ont. The company also said it would add additional suppliers, and work with current contractors to increase their capacity.

The 35 cars Bombardier is pledging to deliver this year is a more optimistic figure than one published Wednesday in TTC CEO Andy Byford’s report to the transit agency board. In that document, the TTC estimated Bombardier would deliver just 30 cars in 2017.

In a joint statement, Byford and TTC board chair Josh Colle appeared to accept Bombardier’s 35 car estimate. But they called the latest blown deadline “extremely disappointing and frustrating.”

“There should be 146 new streetcars in service today; instead there are just 45. This is completely unacceptable. The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand,” the statement said.

Since the TTC placed the $1-billion, 204-car order with Bombardier in 2009, the company has repeatedly blown delivery schedules, and revised its yearly targets downward four separate times.

According to the latest schedule, which Bombardier gave the TTC in May 2016, the company was supposed to ramp up production and deliver 22 cars in the final three months of the year, for a total of 70. That would require building at least seven streetcars a month, a rate the company has never achieved.

In July, Bombardier alerted Byford it might not be able to meet the 2017 target, due to what it described as a “very limited, short-term issue.” It said it was “deploying extraordinary resources” to keep delivery on track.

Confirmation that the company will miss the target for 2017 represents yet another blow for both the transit agency and Bombardier. While Byford has previously berated the company for overpromising on how quickly it could deliver, the relationship improved last year when Bombardier appointed Benoit Brossoit as its new president for its Americas division.

Byford has praised Brossoit for at least providing the TTC with realistic timelines, but the company has now failed to meet even the lower benchmarks it provided under his watch.

In its statement Thursday, Bombardier asserted “it is still fully on track to deliver the entire fleet of 204 streetcars” by the original contract deadline of the end of 2019. To do so, the company will have to build an average of more than 69 cars a year, twice the number it says it will supply in 2017.

Mayor John Tory expressed what he described as his “immense frustration” with the company on Thursday morning, telling reporters at a SmartTrack news conference that “this has got to the point of almost farce.”

“Having said that, I think we’re taking all reasonable steps,” he said, noting the TTC is suing the company for millions of dollars in penalties for late delivery. The TTC board is also seeking alternative suppliers for its next streetcar purchase.

Tory said it would be impractical to abandon the Bombardier order at this point because it would take a long time to find another supplier.

“I think people would be fooling themselves if they thought we could just cancel the Bombardier contract and move to some other person tomorrow morning and start getting streetcars by Christmas. It’s not going to happen.”

“We’re just going to have to press forward” he said.

With files from David Rider

-Torstar News Service