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Toronto - August 2008

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Toronto — Bombardier Contests TTC Decision

Rail Transit Online, August 2008

A meeting between TTC officials and representatives of Bombardier Transportation on July 25 over the transit agency's rejection of the company's bid for 204 new low-floor streetcars ended the way it began, in a stalemate. TTC continues to assert that the vehicle Bombardier offered did not meet specifications and would derail on the streetcar system's extremely tight curves.

Executives of the manufacturer insisted their proposed design was safe and could meet all TTC requirements. Bombardier has now requested a meeting on the political level with the nine Toronto city councillors who make up the commission. TTC Chairman Adam Giambrone acquiesced in part when he said Bombardier would be allowed to address the commission's Aug. 27 meeting.

However, Bombardier Vice-President Mike Hardt said he believed a deal was still possible. "Following our meeting with TTC today, we are more convinced than ever that the RFP process was cancelled prematurely, as a resolution seems very possible," Hardt told The Globe and Mail.

When the bids from Bombardier and sole competing bidder TRAM Power Ltd. were rejected, the TTC claimed that Bombardier had used computer modeling not based on parameters conforming to those provided by the agency, which were much stricter than industry standards because of sharp curves and steep grades. A TTC spokesman said adopting the Bombardier design would require numerous sections of track to be replaced and adversely impact operation of the current streetcar fleet. However, Bombardier says the TTC specifically asked bidders to use their own parameters.

Meanwhile, a TTC spokesman said on July 28 that meetings have begun with two potential suppliers other than Bombardier. Neither Alstom nor Siemens had submitted a bid in response to the original Request for Proposals. TTC's options include a negotiated contract or starting over again with a new RFP. Staff will provide recommendations to the commission at its Aug. 27 meeting.


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