Metrolinx enters into contract with Alstom as backup plan for Eglinton Crosstown

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Metrolinx enters into contract with Alstom as backup plan for Eglinton Crosstown

India Blooms News Service | 14 May 2017

Toronto, May 14 (IBNS): To ensure the timely launch of Eglinton Crosstown LRT and to keep on track other LRT projects, Metrolinx -- an agency created by Government of Ontario to improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area -- has entered into an agreement with Alstom, one of Bombardier's competitors, as an alternative supplier of light rail vehicles, media reports said.

“We know for sure that Alstom’s light rail vehicles work. They are currently producing quality vehicles on-time for Ottawa’s Confederation Line LRT project… Our end goal remains opening our LRT projects on time with high-quality vehicles that will provide excellent service to the people of this region.

"This new contract with Alstom provides flexibility to ensure that happens” said John Jensen, President & CEO, Metrolinx, speaking to media.

Over the past several months, Bombardier had failed to prove its ability to deliver quality vehicles according to the contract schedule compelling Metrolinx to make a deal with Alstom.

Consequently, the transit authority of The Greater Toronto Area (which includes city of Toronto and the adjoining cities) had ordered 61 light-rail vehicles from Alstom Canada, costing approximately $528 million.

Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, said that 17 of these vehicles will be used for the Finch West LRT and added that if Bombardier is able to deliver their vehicles on time, the 44 remaining vehicles ordered from Alstom will be used for the Hurontario-Main LRT line.

“This is a sensible, responsible, and creative plan. If Bombardier is…able to deliver quality vehicles on time for the Eglinton Crosstown's completion, Metrolinx will be able to use the Alstom vehicles for other projects, including the Hurontario LRT. If Bombardier is found to be in default, Alstom's vehicles would be used on the Crosstown and an additional order would be placed with Alstom for Hurontario. This plan puts people in Ontario first -- both as commuters and as taxpayers. This isn't about who gets the job done; it's about getting the job done. As the Minister of Transportation, that will continue to be my priority," stated Del Duca today in a recent news release.

Metrolinx had filed a notice of intent to cancel the $770-million contract with Bombardier in 2010, but in April Bombardier had been granted an injunction by a superior court, which inhibited Metrolinx from cancelling the contract and forced both parties into dispute resolution process.

But by the time the injunction was approved Metrolinx was already in discussions with an alternate supplier, the transit authority announced.

"That dispute resolution process could take up to one year, and if Bombardier continues to fall even further behind during this process, it could mean that our transit projects will be further delayed…It has been clear for months that Bombardier has failed to meet its obligations as it relates to other critical transit projects," the transportation minister said in a statement then, citing the delayed delivery of a test pilot vehicle.

The move of entering into contract with Alstom was applauded by Coun. Josh Matlow, whose ward contains a large section of the LRT route.

"If Metrolinx is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure their deadline for the LRT to be running... then I think that's something that's a smart move on their part," he told CBC Toronto. 

 

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

Metrolinx enters into contract with Alstom as backup plan for Eglinton Crosstown

India Blooms News Service
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