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Toronto - October 2008

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Toronto — Streetcar Procurement Challenge

Rail Transit Online, October 2008

The TTC's three-phase procurement process for 204 new streetcars is reportedly proceeding on schedule with the participation of Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom. The three firms were invited to take part after the TTC rejected the only two bids submitted under a request for proposals issued earlier this year.

Bombardier's offer was said to be technically non-compliant and the bid from the small British firm TRAM Power Ltd. was described as "not commercially viable," characterizations both companies denied.

Bombardier protested the TTC's decision but to no avail. Now TRAM Power, which has built only a single prototype, which was virtually destroyed in a fire during testing, has challenged the TTC.

In a letter to agency Chairman Adam Giambrone, TRAM Power's technical director Prof. Lewis Lesley said his bid envelope was never opened by TTC officials. "So how could TTC know that the TPL bid was 'commercially non-compliant'?" the letter asks. Lesley then offered to build six streetcars and supply them to Toronto at cost — with a buy-back promise — to prove TRAM Power has a viable product. "This we believe is now the only honorable course of action for TTC," wrote Lesley.

Giambrone told the Toronto Sun that TRAM Power was deficient in two
respects: "They couldn't meet the financial guarantee sections and they hadn't actually produced a vehicle that would meet the TTC's requirements." Presumably, the company's money-back offer will be rejected.


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