OFF THE RAILS

TTC’S new street­cars are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal fail­ures — way ahead of sched­ule

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - FRONT PAGE -

The re­li­a­bil­ity of the TTC’s new street­cars has de­clined in re­cent months, and tran­sit of­fi­cials now be­lieve the Bom­bardier-made ve­hi­cles will miss a key per­for­mance tar­get spelled out in the ve­hi­cle con­tract.

Sta­tis­tics in the lat­est edi­tion of TTC CEO Andy By­ford’s monthly re­port in­di­cate that as of April, the mean dis­tance the street­cars trav­elled be­fore ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal fail­ures was 5,530 kilo­me­tres. That’s much lower than the more than 16,000 kilo­me­tres be­tween in­ci­dents recorded in Fe­bru­ary.

Un­der the TTC’s con­tract with Bom­bardier, by the time the 60th car is de­liv­ered the ve­hi­cles are sup­posed to travel 35,000 kilo­me­tres with­out de­fects. Af­ter re­peated de­lays to the or­der the TTC now has 37 new street­cars avail­able for ser­vice, and the 60th is sched­uled to ar­rive in Novem­ber.

In an email, TTC chief street­car en­gi­neer Greg Ernst ac­knowl­edged that un­der those time­lines “it is not pos­si­ble” for the cars to reach the re­li­a­bil­ity tar­get by the 60th ve­hi­cle.

“Since the (street­car) pro­gram has ex­pe­ri­enced sev­eral prob­lem months with re­li­a­bil­ity, it will take sev­eral more good months to pull the over­all av­er­age back up to the re­quired level,” Ernst wrote. “Bom­bardier and its sup­pli­ers are work­ing dili­gently to im­prove on fleet re­li­a­bil­ity.”

The TTC de­fines a “fail­ure” as a prob­lem with the cars that causes a dis­rup­tion in ser­vice of five min­utes or more, or re­quires the car to be taken out of ser­vice al­to­gether.

AN­DREW LAHODYNSKYJ/mEtROLAND

TORSTAR NEWS SER­VICE

An old and new TTC street­car pass each other on Queens Quay.

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