In a press scrum after today’s TTC meeting, Chief General Manager Gary Webster was asked about the follow-on order of streetcars for the Transit City lines. Given the planned opening dates, these vehicles must be ordered fairly soon.
Webster replied that the optional order had not yet been placed, and that with the new legal framework around Metrolinx, that agency has approval powers over acquisition of cars to be used on lines funded by Queen’s Park. Brad Ross, TTC’s Director of Corporate Communications piped up that the cars may not even be built by Bombardier.
Metrolinx certainly has chutzpa! Quite recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced funding for the Sheppard East LRT, and proudly claimed that jobs would be created at Bombardier to build cars for this line.
More to the point, do we really need to go through the entire procurement cycle all over again? What does Metrolinx hope to bring to a repetition of the bidding process? Are they just throwing their weight around, or are unseen interests bent on derailing the Bombardier deal?