Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Bombardier has managed to get 17 new streetcars into service in Toronto, well behind schedule.

Bombardier Inc. has cut by more than half the number of streetcars it is promising to deliver to Toronto this year, the latest in a series of delays that has left the TTC head and city politicians outraged.

The Toronto Transit Commission has been struggling for nearly two years to get a meaningful number of the new streetcars onto the city streets. It has managed to get 17 into service and has another being assessed, but was originally promised to have about four times as many vehicles by now.

On Monday, Bombardier acknowledged it would fail to hit its latest, and already scaled-down, delivery schedule for 2016. The company is now promising an overhaul of production, assigning streetcar production also to a plant in Quebec and pledging to keep to the 2019 target for delivering all 204 streetcars.

Story continues below advertisement

The shakeup at Bombardier comes as the company also seeks $1-billion in federal support for its aerospace division, assistance that TTC chair Josh Colle said should be weighed in light of Toronto's streetcar problems.

"Bombardier's making a lot of asks of every level of government, as we all well know," a visibly frustrated Mr. Colle said.

"I think that's something to keep in mind, how we measure the delivery of this project should influence that. But at the end of the day, step up, make the necessary investments and changes so that you change the schedule and meet your commitments."

The federal government is still in negotiations with Bombardier over what a bailout would look like.

After revising its delivery schedule several times, Bombardier had most recently promised to deliver four vehicles a month, beginning in April. It now says it will manage only 13 over the remainder of 2016.

Delivering that number while keeping to the long-term deadline forces the company to heavily back-load production. If the company does get a total of only about 30 vehicles to Toronto by the end of the year, it will have to produce more than one a week from then through 2019.

The city has limited leverage over Bombardier. The transit agency is applying for damages under the terms of the contract, but those are restricted to 5 per cent of the tab, amounting to $51-million. The agency is looking at filing a lawsuit as well, to recoup other costs caused by the delays. The board has also discussed the option of nixing the deal and going with another supplier, though Mr. Colle warns that could leave transit riders waiting even longer.

Story continues below advertisement

Bombardier said Monday that streetcar production in Thunder Bay will be supplemented by its plant in La Pocatière, Que. It is looking at various ways to speed up delivery, including adding an assembly line at one of its facilities, and promises more detail within weeks.

Bombardier spokesman Marc-André Lefebvre said that the new-found urgency was "completely separate" from the bailout request by the aerospace division. He attributed it to the newly arrived president for the Americas.

"The shift in leadership in our company has brought a lot of new vision and impetus to finish this project successfully," he said, noting that the company is focused more on the end goal of delivering all vehicles by 2019 than the interim targets.

But both Mr. Colle and TTC chief executive Andy Byford were openly doubtful about Bombardier managing to fulfill its promises, saying they would believe it when they see it. "We're outraged about this," Mr. Byford said.

Mayor John Tory said he was frustrated with Bombardier's inability to fulfill its contract.

"Suffice it to say, I am completely dismayed at this. It is, you know, no way to do business," he said. "As far as what the city can do, we can sue, and we make statements and we can have meetings. But we don't make streetcars. We only order them and pay for them. And we've done our part."

Story continues below advertisement

With a report from Jeff Gray

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies