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Bombardier to miss delivery target for TTC streetcars

Company will share final assembly with a second plant
file photo.

THUNDER BAY -- Bombardier is blaming issues with its supply chain for a failure to hit the target of delivering a cumulative total of 70 streetcars to the Toronto Transit Commission by the end of this year.

The company has told the TTC it will only have delivered 65 vehicles in total by the end of the year.

In a statement on Thursday, Bombardier said "This is not the result we worked towards and this is not the result we will accept for ourselves and for the people of Toronto."

The company announced that it is taking additional measures to further speed up work on the 204-car order, and still expects to complete the delivery of all the vehicles by the original contract deadline of 2019.

One of those steps is to implement a dual-site production model, splitting the final assembly process at two sites instead of just Thunder Bay.

Bombardier has plants at three other locations in Canada and the U.S., but the statement did not identify which plant is being assigned the streetcar work.

The company also said it is adding more suppliers and sources of components for the vehicles, and working with suppliers to increase their delivery capacity.

The TTC issued a statement in response, referring to the delay as "extremely disappointing and frustrating."  It said that under the original plan, the TTC should have 146 new streetcars in service today, but instead there are just 45, and it called the situation "completely unacceptable."

Bombardier has had to revise its yearly production targets on several previous occasions. However, the company noted in its statement that since it launched a turnaround plan last year, it has met every quarterly delivery commitment to the TTC over the past 16 months.

Dominic Pasqualino, president of Unifor Local 1075 representing the bulk of Bombardier's Thunder Bay workforce, told that the company has embarked on a "very aggressive" schedule for ramping up production.

"I can tell you that the line is working faster than at the beginning of the year, and we've been making some very dramatic improvements."

Pasqualino said Bombardier has also invested significantly in the plant and hired more workers in an effort to meet production targets.