Metrolinx inks deal with Alstom as LRT spat with Bombardier continues

Elias Hubbard
May 13, 2017

Alstom has been awarded a firm order for the supply of 61 Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA) by Metrolinx, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Under the $528-million agreement, Alstom will build 17 vehicles for the Finch West LRT project and, if necessary, 44 for the Eglinton Crosstown, both projects that Bombardier has already agreed to build vehicles for.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said that process could take up to a year, and if Bombardier "continues to fall even further behind", the transit projects will be further delayed.

In a statement, Bombardier said that it is "ready, able and willing" to deliver the vehicles on-time, pointing to its current production of identical vehicles for Waterloo Region's Ion light rail transit system.

TORONTO-The Ontario government says it has an agreement to buy 61 light-rail vehicles from French manufacturer Alstom as an insurance plan in case Bombardier can't deliver railcars for transit projects in Toronto.

"They have a proven track record and to me that is the most important thing", he said.

Meanwhile, if Bombardier does deliver on time Del Duca said that the Alstom vehicles can be used on the planned Hurontario LRT, which is scheduled to open in Mississauga in 2022.

Last November, Metrolinx formally notified Bombardier it meant to cancel a $770-million contract for 182 light-rail vehicles, citing "significant quality and manufacturing issues".

Alstom said in a statement the contract is worth over 355 million euros ($387.55 million) and includes an option for additional vehicles.

When asked for comment on the order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters just north of Toronto on Friday that his government tends "to respect the opportunity and the responsibility of municipalities and provinces to make decisions around procurement".

Over the past several months, Metrolinx has had significant concerns regarding Bombardier's ability to deliver quality vehicles according to the contract schedule.

"We believe what's best for the people of Toronto and Ontario is that we work together to ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for another cancelled contract", he said.

Last month, a court ruling blocked Metrolinx from terminating the deal for default.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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