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Bombardier sets up new streetcar production line in Kingston, gives TTC new delivery schedule

Bombardier is setting up a second production line in Kingston, Ont. to build TTC streetcars as the company steps up efforts to meet the final deadline for Toronto’s problem-plagued vehicle order.

According to a schedule the company has provided to the TTC, the addition of a second production line to complement the one at its Thunder Bay, Ont. plant will allow Bombardier to deliver 65 cars this year, and 77 in 2019.

That would enable it to meet the contract deadline of supplying all 204 of the cars by the end of next year.

“No revision, no excuses, this year we deliver for the people of Toronto,” said company spokesperson Eric Prud’Homme in an email.

The rate of production Bombardier is committing to under the new, heavily back-loaded schedule would far exceed anything the company has achieved on the $1-billion TTC order to date. The most cars it has supplied in a single year was in 2017 when it delivered about 30 of the vehicles.

The first new streetcar entered service in 2014, and the company says as of last week it had completed a total of 66. To meet its new schedule it will have to manufacture more cars this year than it did in the previous four, and then exceed this year’s total in 2019.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said in an email Tuesday the transit agency believes adding a second production line was “the right thing to do,” but he wouldn’t say whether the TTC has faith Bombardier will meet the 2019 target.

The company has “a lot of work to do to regain the confidence of the TTC and its customers,” he wrote. “We need these new streetcars more now than ever. We will wait and see if they hit their targets — it’s down to them to get this right.”