Toronto’s mayor says he will have to look “very carefully” at Bombardier’s (BBDb.TO) “totally inadequate” performance on streetcars when planning any future transit projects.
“Would we even ask those people to bid based on the fact that they just haven’t delivered streetcars to us on anywhere near the schedule?,” John Tory said in an interview with BNN.
The Quebec-based company delivered its 30th new streetcar to Toronto on Wednesday. According to a schedule established in 2012, Bombardier was supposed to have delivered more than 100 of the vehicles by now.
“That is not acceptable,” said Tory. “That’s not a way to do business and that is not a way you make your customers happy and want to do more business with you in the future.”
Bombardier has reiterated its commitment to deliver all of the remaining streetcars by 2019.
Benoît Brossoit, president of Bombardier Transportation’s Americas Region, recently wrote a letter to Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle, acknowledging the company “may have failed to meet… expectations.”
He outlined the ways Bombardier is trying to improve its production rate, including forming a new leadership team, introducing a second assembly line in Thunder Bay, Ont., and speeding up parts production in other plants.
But Tory’s frustration remains.
“I know they’re making efforts now, but they’re making efforts to clean up a mess,” he said. “And the question really is, ‘How did that mess ever happen to customers like us who have been loyal customers?’”
The mayor noted he still views Bombardier as a proud Canadian company, and says its streetcars are “fantastic.”
He also said he accepts blame, on behalf of his predecessors and former city councilors, for not properly building and funding Toronto transit.
Asked whether he believes the federal government should grant Bombardier’s request for federal funds, Tory said yes, with a condition:
“They should qualify as should everybody else if they can prove that they can operate in a responsible, business-like manner.”