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TTC has second look at Bombardier bid

After rejecting firm’s $1.25B proposal to build 204 streetcars, city now seeks plan details

Jul 26, 2008 04:30 AM

John Goddard
Staff Reporter

TTC officials gave Bombardier Inc. a second chance yesterday.

After saying the company’s bid to build 204 replacement streetcars did not meet specifications, transit officials agreed to let Bombardier further explain its $1.25 billion proposal.

“They will be coming back to us with more information,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said following a meeting with the company.

Bombardier must do so by the next regular transit commission meeting , on Aug. 27, he said.

In the meantime, TTC engineers will continue to interview other manufacturers about the streetcar contract.

Talks were held Thursday with Alstom of France, Ross said. A meeting is scheduled next week with Siemens AG of Germany.

Originally, Bombardier, the world’s largest rail vehicle manufacturer, was thought to have the contract in the bag. The only other bidder was TRAM Power of Merseyside, England.

Last week, TTC engineers ruled out both bids.

In Bombardier’s case, the proposed Flexity Outlook streetcar failed to comply with specified technical standards. For example, Ross said last week, Bombardier assumed drivers could take sharp turns at speeds slower than the TTC allowed.

“These vehicles are safe,” Bombardier transportation vice-president Mike Hardt said yesterday in a news release.

“(They) will not derail on curves and can handle all of Toronto’s hills.”

That’s beside the point, Mayor David Miller suggested.

“The TTC is not saying (Bombardier’s proposed streetcars) are not safe,” Miller told a news scrum. “The TTC is saying they didn’t make the specifications in the TTC’s tight turns …

“If Bombardier has information that indicates otherwise, then they need to work with TTC staff and the commission.”