Bombardier to miss 2017 streetcar target

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Thunder Bay Bombardier workers 'doing everything' they can to meet TTC streetcar quota: union president

Thunder Bay Bombardier workers 'doing everything' they can to meet TTC streetcar quota: union president

Bombardier will deliver at least five fewer streetcars than promised in 2017, the company announced Thursday, drawing the ire of Mayor John Tory and the TTC.

Bombardier blames the latest delay on supply chain issues, but says there is a "turnaround plan" in place. The company's new goal is to have delivered 65 vehicles by the end of 2017.

"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 spokesperson Eric Prud'Homme said in an email statement.

"We own this challenge, and we fully intend to do everything necessary to mitigate the impacts."

TTC officials say the 47th and 48th streetcars arrived in Toronto this week, and CEO Andy Byford's latest report says 43 are in service.

Byford and TTC Chair Josh Colle issued a terse joint statement moments after Bombardier's, calling the revised target "completely unacceptable."

"The TTC is having to continue to use buses on streetcar routes to meet ridership demand," the statement says.

Byford's report says Bombardier's delivery woes are putting increasing pressure on the current TTC system, which is already dealing with old streetcars being retired. It's expected the city may need to purchase more buses to fill the gaps left by a streetcar shortage, Byford says.

The transit agency is pursuing a $50 million legal claim against Bombardier, and also recently voted to look for another transportation company to build 60 more streetcars in the future. 

Deliveries were set to scale up

Bombardier had planned to deliver 22 streetcars in the next three months. So far, three have arrived this October.

Tory said the repeated delays have become a "farce" at this point, and said that while the city is working with the company to get more streetcars on the roads as soon as possible, what transit-users need is results.

"It's just a subject of immense frustration," Tory told reporters.

"The real unfortunate part of this is when those streetcars have been delivered, they are a huge success."

The longer, low-floor streetcars are set to play a starring role in the King Street pilot project to improve transit service which is slated to begin in November.

They're also set to start running on busy lines like Dundas, and Bathurst Streets next year.