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Bombardier meets target for TTC streetcars

Production continued to increase during two successful quarters

THUNDER BAY — Bombardier Transportation's Thunder Bay assembly plant has met its quarterly target for delivery of streetcars to the Toronto Transit Commission.

A company spokesperson says the success achieved in the April-May-June period marked the second consecutive quarter in which the it achieved its goals.

The company is steadily ramping up its production rate.

After delivering 16 streetcars in the second quarter, the target for the current quarter increases to 17, and for the fourth quarter of the year it rises to 21 cars.

"We have made significant investments to double our delivery rate in order to meet the deadlines," spokesperson Jade St-Jean said in an emailed message Tuesday to Tbnewswatch.

Some of the vehicles will be assembled at a Bombardier facility in Kingston, starting this fall.

St-Jean said the company will complete the full order for 204 cars by the original contract deadline of 2019.

The president of Unifor Local 1075, which represents most of Bombardier's Thunder Bay employees, put the recent achievements in his plant in stark perspective.

"It was quite aggressive. Last year, for the first quarter, we were still stuck at doing one car a month. We've had our issues with supply, and all that. In January of this year, we were doing basically a car a week.  (Then) we went to a rate of one car every three days. We've  improved that much," Pasqualino said in an interview.

He said the plant, simultaneously, has been able to speed production of BiLevel commuter cars for Metrolinx, the transportation agency serving the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas.

"The fastest we've ever done them was a car every three days, and now we're doing it at a car every two days."

Despite the recent success, Pasqualino cautioned, the Thunder Bay plant will need new orders to keep operating after next year.

The current streetcar order is set for completion by December, 2019, and the BiLevel contract will be finished in the summer of 2019.

Bombardier still hopes to win an additional order for 60 streetcars from the TTC.


Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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