Link: “Not In Service” from the Toronto Star

With “Not In Service: Inside Bombardier’s Delayed Streetcar Deliveries,” the staff at the Toronto Star have done a good investigation into Bombardier’s delays with streetcar and LRT deliveries across the GTA.

It’s a great article and everyone in the city should read it, but in sum:

  • Bombardier gave the city a low-ball offer that it couldn’t refuse.
  • Bombardier undoubtedly knew they wouldn’t be able to keep its promises.
  • Globalization and the international outsourcing of labour are real things, in that while Bombardier could’ve built the TTC’s new streetcars in Thunder Bay without any problems and on time, it was far cheaper for them to do the primary construction work in Mexico.
  • The delays themselves were caused by a combination of out-of-specification parts from Mexico, wiring problems, and a shortage of usable parts for assembly.
  • Bombardier North America does not practice “just-in-time” manufacturing.
  • While workers at Bombardier’s Mexican factory seemed simply out of their technical depth, Bombardier management seemed both incompetent, lazy, and desperate to wring as much time and money it could from the city.
  • Toronto is no closer towards getting all of its new streetcars by the promised deadline.