I'm surprised nobody has posted anything about the TTC's streetcar contract going off the proverbial rails. Bombardier's bid was rejected and the rest of the world's major players did not even bid in the end. The TTC's requirement for 100% low floor trains is at odds with the products the majority of tram makers actually produce. Low floor buses aren't even 100% low floor and yet are still considered fully accessible.
Streetcar contract stalled as TTC rejects bids
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2008 | 8:39 AM ET
The Toronto Transit Commission says its planned $1.25 billion streetcar contract has been derailed.
The TTC said Thursday it is ending its tender process for a fleet of more than 200 new streetcars and will go back to the seven companies that originally expressed interest and see if it can find a supplier.
Bids had been received from Bombardier and a British company TRAM Power. A third company, German engineering giant Siemens backed out of the process last month.
But the TTC dismissed the bid from TRAM and then said the Bombardier bid did not comply with technical specifications.
"The car that [Bombardier was] going to provide to Toronto had to work on the rails that we have on the street today — and had to be able to go around curves like they do at the loops for each line and go down into the station, like at Union [Station]. Their car did not meet those specifications," said TTC chair Adam Giambrone.
Bombardier expressed surprise at the rejection of its bid.
Giambrone said "at this point there are no cars that meet [TTC] specifications" and the TTC will continue to work with companies, including Bombardier, to resolve the technical issues.
The TTC is looking to buy 204 new, low-floor streetcars to replace its aging fleet by 2012. There was also an option to supply an additional 364 streetcars for future transit lines.