Friday, April 24, 2009

Bombardier lands TTC order for 204 streetcars

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Montreal-based Bombardier, Inc. has been awarded a C$2.23 billion contract by the Toronto Transit Commission to produce 204 low-floor light rail vehicles for Canada’s largest city. Bombardier said it expects to deliver the first cars to TTC by 2012. TTC’s purchase is said to be the largest LRV purchase ever in North America, and includes an option for even more cars, should Toronto’s proposed “Transit City” plan be implemented.

ttc-lrv-bombardier.jpgBombardier’s bid was chosen over rival Siemens Transportation, but only after months of debate and dispute over TTC’s original bid process. The contract is expected to be formally voted on Monday by the nine Toronto city council members overseeing TTC, but approval is expected.

No funding is yet assured from either the federal governmentor the province of Ontario, though TTC officials say they believe such assistance will be forthcoming, possibly in amounts up to C$1.4 billion.

Last summer Bombardier was rebuffed by TTC after the manufacturer seemingly had won an earlier bid for the agency’s contract, beating out British manufacturer TRAM Power Ltd. TTC,  however, questioned Bombardier’s earlier bid, citing design flaws, a claim Bombardier rejected. Last February Bombardier resubmitted its bid, challenged this time by Siemens.

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TTC and Ontario province require that the new cars meet a 25% “buy Canadian” content threshold. Bombardier likely will do much of its manufacturing work at its Thunder Bay, Ont., facility, though it likely also will tap several of its European-based plants for the project.