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Old July 21st, 2008, 05:16 AM   #361
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Bombardier says stands behind Toronto streetcar bid

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Friday it stands behind its bid to win a big contract to replace Toronto's aging streetcar fleet, saying it does not understand complaints from the city's transit authority that its proposed new vehicles couldn't take tight turns.

"We believe the bid is compliant," said David Slack, a spokesman for Bombardier's transportation division, noting that the company had not been provided with enough additional information from the Toronto Transit Commission to understand what the problem is.

The contract for 204 new streetcars, worth C$1.25 billion ($1.24 billion), had looked likely to go to Montreal-based Bombardier after Germany's Siemens AG decided not to enter the bidding, despite showing earlier interest.

The TTC said late on Thursday, that Bombardier's bid was not compliant with the technical specifications it had set out and that the proposed streetcars would not be able to handle some of the tight turns on Toronto's track network.

Slack said that, based on the information released on Thursday, "We had our engineers work all night to try to understand the issue and, at this point, we don't understand it."

He added that Bombardier, the world's largest train maker, has requested an immediate meeting with the TTC.

A spokesman for Siemens said that if the requirements for the proposal, including technical and financial specifications, were to change, the company would be interested in submitting a bid.

But the TTC said it will not change the specifications it outlined in the original request for proposals. They include the requirement that the streetcars be completely wheelchair accessible, and that at least 25 percent of the content for the vehicles' design and construction would be Canadian.

The contract also has an option to purchase up to an additional 364 streetcars over the next 15 years, as part of a plan to expand the use of light rail and rapid transit across Canada's biggest city.

The only other company to enter the bidding was Britain's TRAM Power, but its bid was also dismissed by the transit authority for being not commercially compliant.

The TTC said that it will now contact all companies that had previously expressed interest in the contract, including French high-speed train maker Alstom, to hold discussions with them.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:34 AM   #362
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I think what the TTC really have in mind is a custom made tram. They're only trying to justify it infront of the public.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #363
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I think what the TTC really have in mind is a custom made tram. They're only trying to justify it infront of the public.
PCCs ran on these tracks in the past, and those were hardly custom made, they were a global standard in their hayday. The problem with this whole fiasco is political meddling and other potential bidders' weariness of that meddling.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:52 AM   #364
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You would think that the TTC would have known if Bombardier trains would be compliant from the beginning.
This seems like a waste of time. The reality is that ONLY Bombardier can meet the requirements due to the 25% of the content being manufactured in Ontario. Unless Ontario can bribe Siemen's, Altrom. or anyother large producer to build a factory the whole process has been a farce.
I agree with the idea with a requirement of some of the manufacturing/assembly being done in Ontario but the TTC should have known from the begining that that requirement wipes out everyonev except Bombardier. It also puts the TTC is a predicament of being able to get a competitive offer.
This has put them in a similar situation as SRT/SkyTrain where all the bids in the world can go forth but the reality is that Bombardier will DICTATE the price and the TTC will have no option to pay.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 01:00 PM   #365
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I wonder how did those VIVA Belgian buses squeeze through the Canadian content rules
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 02:02 PM   #366
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This has put them in a similar situation as SRT/SkyTrain where all the bids in the world can go forth but the reality is that Bombardier will DICTATE the price and the TTC will have no option to pay.
Didn't one of the Vancouver transit contracts go to South Korea?
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 09:02 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I wonder how did those VIVA Belgian buses squeeze through the Canadian content rules
York Region went with Van Hool (Viva) becuase they chose to and did not have a statement about having a percentage of work completed in Canada

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:32 AM   #368
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York Region went with Viva becuase they chose to and did not have a statement about having a percentage of work completed in Canada
I thought these are blanket rules to be applied across the industry, at least in the province, if not, across the country? I didn't know the 25% was just a TTC requirement.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:14 AM   #369
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Quote:
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Didn't one of the Vancouver transit contracts go to South Korea?
Are those standards applied to the entire country?

Anyway in Vancouver's case, we are building one entire new line, where ROTEM (South Korean Company) and SNC-Lavin (Quebec) did a joint bid and formed the company InTransitBC, which will also own the line for the next thirty five years. I guess there's ur Canadian contribution...

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:18 AM   #370
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Apparently now Bombardier says they used "European standards", instead of the Toronto standards that they are very familiar with, and they say they were expecting
that the Toronto cars would move slower. Waste of everyone's time and money.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:31 AM   #371
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Didn't one of the Vancouver transit contracts go to South Korea?
yes, to ROTEM.

But the Canada Line (RAV) is not using the LIM technology so that gives them more choices.

Cheers, m
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:46 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Apparently now Bombardier says they used "European standards", instead of the Toronto standards that they are very familiar with, and they say they were expecting
that the Toronto cars would move slower. Waste of everyone's time and money.
Okay........ so they did infact violate the terms of tender? (all be it by splitting hairs)

We can only speculate at this point what the repercussions will be.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:17 PM   #373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I thought these are blanket rules to be applied across the industry, at least in the province, if not, across the country? I didn't know the 25% was just a TTC requirement.
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Are those standards applied to the entire country?
They don't have to have Canadian content, this is decided, AFAIK, project by project - however there was a lot of lobbying for it, and there will be people who also suspect, and I beleive these are valid given the previous no-bid contract awarded to Bombardier for the subway car order, that it is a political tool for tilting the project to a Canadian bidder for the sake of domestic or even local economic gains.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 06:34 AM   #374
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Czech firm keen on TTC contract
But Skoda says it will only bid on streetcar deal if city relents on requirement for low-floor vehicles
July 24, 2008
Tess Kalinowski
Toronto Star Transportation Reporter

Skoda, the giant Czech manufacturer of transit vehicles, would like to play ball with the Toronto Transit Commission for its historic $1.25 billion contract to replace the aging Red Rocket streetcars.

But the company's manager of U.S. operations says Skoda will get into the bidding only if the TTC relents on its requirement for a 100 per cent low-floor streetcar – something TTC chair Adam Giambrone says Toronto is not willing to consider.

Bombardier and France-based Alstom have also expressed interest in the contract since the TTC abandoned its "request for proposals" process last week.

That's when it announced that neither company bidding on the contract for 204 cars had qualified under the terms of the process.

Bombardier was widely considered a shoo-in for the job, which demands that 25 per cent of the parts and labour be Canadian. Officials there are expected to meet with the TTC by early next week to discuss why their bid failed to meet the safety and other technical specifications.

Officials from second bidder TRAM Power will speak with TTC officials by phone today. Technical director Lewis Lesley hopes that conversation will give the TTC the confidence to at least meet TRAM executives in person to talk about their car, still in the test stages in England.

Skoda, which has heavy and light rail products running in eastern Europe, Russia, Austria and Portland, Ore., decided against bidding for the project, which also includes an option to build 364 more cars for the TTC's planned Transit City lines. It wasn't prepared to spend the money and four years to develop a 100 per cent low-floor car, said Charlie Hahn, the company's Maryland-based agent.

"We felt the project was leaning to more local firms," he said. "We participated up to the point where it started becoming a one-horse show." The TTC contract is large enough that Skoda would consider setting up a Canadian operation or partner to meet the domestic content requirement. It's something Skoda has already done in Oregon, Hahn said.

Skoda is one of seven companies who had originally expressed interest and whom the TTC now plans to contact, said transit spokesperson Brad Ross.

The requirement for a low floor throughout the vehicle doesn't preclude Toronto getting the best deal on the streetcars, said Giambrone. Bombardier, German giant Siemens and Alstom all claim they have 100 per cent low-floor vehicles. "If the three biggest companies all offer a low-floor car, that's just the ideal because it's the easiest to navigate – why would you compromise on that customer service element if you didn't have to?"
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Old August 8th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #375
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TTC aims to get light-rail project back on track
'We will likely be able to have a contract later this year'

6 August 2008
National Post

The TTC has begun new negotiations with three streetcar manufacturers and expects to get its derailed $1.2-billion light-rail project quickly back on track, the transit commission's chairman said yesterday.

The open proposals process collapsed last month over problems with front-runner Bombardier's bid, but Councillor Adam Giambrone (Davenport), who chairs the TTC, doesn't expect the awarding of a contract to be delayed more than "a couple of months."

Mr. Giambrone said discussions are already taking place between the TTC and three light-rail manufacturers: Montreal-based Bombardier, which had its bid rejected over fears its trains would derail during tight-radius turns on Toronto's narrow old tracks; as well as German company Siemens and French multinational Alstom, neither of which submitted proposals for the $1.2-billion project.

"We will be presenting our way forward at the Aug. 27 commission meeting, at which point we will make a recommendation to have negotiations over the next couple of months with one of the three, two of the three, all of the three," Mr. Giambrone said. "And then we will likely be able to have a contract later this year."

That's not much different from the timeline originally prescribed by the scrapped proposals process, he added.

But some have expressed concern that the stalling of the submissions will delay the delivery of the 204 low-rise streetcars that are supposed to be rolled out by 2012.

Councillor Karen Stintz (Eglinton Lawrence) has written letters insisting a light needs to be shone on what went wrong with Bombardier's bid that caused the process to fall apart. She said there needs to be an understanding of what went wrong with the proposals process before it can proceed.

But Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), a member of the TTC board, said he thinks such criticism is a "red herring."

"It seems to me that the process is working and has worked really well," Mr. Thompson said, adding that it is better to find out in the early stages if there are risks to public safety because of derailment.

Likewise, it is better to take a bit longer and get the design specifications right, which is why he said he is not overly concerned that the awarding of the contract will be unduly delayed.

"As long as we get it right within a suitable timeframe," he said. "I think that we ought to afford the staff the time to do it right as opposed to hurry it along.

"It's unfortunate that we now have to go back to some degree, though not all the way back to the drawing board."

The TTC needs to purchase two versions of the same model streetcar: one standard model that will be used on new light-rail lines and another modified version that can navigate the existing track system.

Mr. Giambrone said getting the new "off-the-shelf" model is the priority because it needs to be ready to roll when the new light-rail line along Sheppard Avenue is completed.

"To be honest if there was a two-month delay, a four-month delay -- nobody wants a four-month delay -- but it's not the end of the world," he said. "These ones will continue to operate, we'll continue to maintain them. It becomes harder with each year passing by. But if it takes an additional six or seven months -- and I don't know if it will even take that long -- but if it were to, it wouldn't be the end of the world. What would be the end of the world would be if we didn't have new cars for when the Transit City lines start opening in 2012."
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Old August 8th, 2008, 07:05 PM   #376
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Toronto's narrow old tracks
Hmph, what kind o' national newspaper do we have ourselves here, huh? Toronto'd been reputed to have broad guage tracks...I guess the publisher forgets where it's based, eh?!



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Old August 9th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #377
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In this case I do understand the TTC's delay. A delay of 2 or 4 months will not mean anything and better to get it right the first time than regrets later.........aka SRT.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 04:38 AM   #378
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TTC wants to deal with rail firms directly
$1.25B Project
Looks to replace formal proposals for new streetcars

27 August 2008
National Post

The Toronto Transit Commission wants to negotiate directly with three major light rail manufacturers, including Bombardier, to secure the design and $1.25-billion purchase of 204 new low-floor streetcars that will operate on the city's ageing track network.

TTC staff will ask commissioners to approve the course of action at today's meeting, which would replace the formal proposals process that collapsed in July when the TTC failed Bombardier's bid over safety concerns that remain in dispute. In addition to Bombardier, the TTC wants to work with French conglomerate Alstom and German company Siemens to find a fully accessible streetcar fleet.

Bombardier, the Montreal-based manufacturer, expressed reservations yesterday about the fact an open, transparent framework it spent many months and millions of dollars preparing for has been scrapped, likely in favour of talks with competitors who never even submitted bids.

"Our concern is that the process is not an open and official process," said Genvieve Dion, director communications for Bombardier Transportation, the company's light-rail division. "It's clear that the rules have changed. We submitted a bid that we strongly believed was responsive; certainly the process is not well set-up."

Ms. Dion also said the company does not understand why a repeatedly requested meeting between engineers from Bombardier and the TTC to resolve the differences will not take place until after the commission votes on the new process. She called the situation "very unusual" if not "unique" in the company's experience as a world leader supplying trams.

But Brad Ross, a spokesman for the TTC, said the transit authority had no choice but to cancel its request for proposals once Bombardier, the frontrunner, was deemed to have failed a component of an all-or-nothing test.

"There are very strict rules around an RFP [request for proposal] and we communicate with vendors and how vendors communicate with us," he said. "This approach allows for discussion, it allows for questions, it allows for clarification, pick up the phone, have a meeting."

Mr. Ross added that the technical requirements -- including that the cars be 100% low floor, work on the existing tracks and have 25% Canadian content -- remain the same.

Councillor Adam Giambrone (Davenport), chairman of the TTC, said for many reasons the commission would have preferred an RFP.

"Ideally an RFP is the best way to go because it is the most open and transparent," he said. "Our current fairness commissioner, who recommended we cancel the RFP, is going to continue to be engaged in this, to continue to make sure this process is fair and transparent. An RFP is easiest from that perspective, and it didn't work, so we're now going to the negotiated procurement option."

Bombardier asserts the TTC's decision to disqualify its proposal was "premature," said Ms. Dion, and its design was safe. Disagreement hinges on whether Bombardier's proposal of an alternative wheel profile but not the TTC's ideal was grounds for disqualification.

"We stand by that what we proposed in Section 15, the alternate profile, would meet all the safety and operational requirements as well as the other RFP requirements while adhering to industry-wide safety standards," said Ms. Dion.

But Mr. Ross said the rules were clear. "If you want to submit an alternative that's fine, but you have to submit a base," he said. "But even the alternative wouldn't have worked. They're saying: You could ground the rails and that would cost as little as $10-million. We dispute that. It would cost far more than that in fact. There are over 90 curves on the system that would require a new track structure. You'd have to expand the loops, which means purchasing property."
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Old August 28th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #379
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TTC streetcar search at square one
Commissioners choose new process to find suitable car supplier

August 28, 2008
Toronto Star

Two years after the TTC began its search for a new streetcar supplier, it is starting the process all over amid growing controversy.

Elected transit commissioners decided yesterday to launch a new purchasing process that will allow Toronto to simultaneously negotiate with three manufacturers and permit more discussion of the TTC's requirements throughout those negotiations.

French-based Alstom and Siemens Canada, both of which originally declined to bid on the streetcar contract, said they are now interested in the business estimated to be worth between $1.25 billion and $3 billion.

But Quebec-based Bombardier, the only one of the three suppliers now under consideration that submitted a bid under the earlier request for proposals (RFP), continued to insist that bid has given its competitors an unfair advantage in the new multi-phase bid process.

It is also unclear how long the new bidding process will delay the delivery of 204 new low-floor streetcars to replace the TTC's rapidly declining, 30-year-old fleet. The contract will also include an option to build an additional 364 cars to serve the TTC's proposed Transit City light rail lines across the city.

"We've lost at least two months. Very clearly, we need to work with all three vendors. Until we actually meet with them I don't know how much more (delay). We're going to work very aggressively," said TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.

He confirmed that TTC staff will meet next week with Bombardier engineers to clarify why the TTC decided that the car being proposed, the Flexity Outlook, would be in danger of derailing on Toronto's tight turns.

To run in Toronto, the Bombardier car would require alterations on the TTC's existing track network. But the cost of those changes was also disputed, with the TTC simply rejecting the notion as not feasible.

Bombardier vice-president Mike Hardt said the track alterations would only cost about $10 million and he refused to speculate on the company's legal options.

Calling the new bid process "ambiguous," he wondered why two companies that previously declined to participate in the RFP were now interested.

"We supported this RFP for a year and a half. We supported the city in mock-ups, with advertising and everything that was required. We were working on simulations for months and months," he said.

Hardt put the cost of Bombardier's failed bid at between $2 million and $3 million.

"We're not the world leader in manufacturing rail cars for nothing. The quality, the safety is there or we would not be the leader," he told commissioners, after first acknowledging that the TTC has been a long-time customer of his company, including a $710 million order in 2006 for new subway cars.

Mario Péloquin, director of business development for Siemens Canada, told commissioners his company was now able to bid because it had dispensed with some internal restructuring issues. An Alstom representative would not say why his firm had failed to bid earlier, but that it had informed the TTC privately of its reasons.

The TTC's requirements for its streetcars, including a provision for 25 per cent Canadian parts and labour, will remain in place.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:48 PM   #380
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Buy Canadian policy urged by key unions
August 29, 2008
Opinion
http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/487412

The Toronto Transit Commission has reopened the Request for Proposal process for a contract worth $3 billion in taxpayers' money to manufacture 204 low-floor streetcars. Siemans of Germany, Alstom of France and Canada's Bombardier will be submitting bids to win the largest streetcar contract in the world.

Bombardier must be awarded this contract. Final assembly of these cars would be done in Thunder Bay. This nation is hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs – 400,000 jobs gone in the past five years. Last month we had the single largest job loss since the recession of 1991 – 55,000 in one month, 32,000 of those in Ontario.

The Canadian Auto Workers and Canadian Labour Congress are calling on all levels of government, including municipalities, to adopt a Buy Canadian policy for purchases. The policy includes a minimum of 50 per cent Canadian content and domestic final assembly for public transit vehicle purchases. The Province of Quebec recently adopted a 60 per cent Canadian-content threshold for provincially funded transit projects.

Municipal councils across the country can help stop the massive loss of Canadian manufacturing jobs, address the dramatic loss in public funds and build strong communities by demanding strong Canadian content rules for publicly funded purchases. I strongly urge Mayor David Miller and TTC Commissioner Adam Giambrone to do the right thing and buy Canadian manufactured streetcars.

Roland Kiehne, President, CAW Local 112, Toronto
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