Metrolinx threatening penalties after Bombardier misses LRT deadline

The head of Metrolinx says it will impose financial penalties on Bombardier Inc. after the Quebec train maker delivered only half of a promised six vehicles for Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT by today's deadline.

Phil Verster notes in a statement the company was supposed to supply the first six of 76 cars to the provincial transportation agency by Feb. 1.

A Metrolinx spokesman declined to specify the financial penalties applicable under a $392-million contract signed with the manufacturer in 2017.

Bombardier says last Friday it was expecting ``four more cars to be delivered...over the next week or so,'' with two of the light-rail vehicles already delivered from its Kingston facility.

Verster says Bombardier's delivery times have ``improved,'' with the three remaining LRT cars expected in a couple of weeks, but added he aims to hold the company ``to account to protect the interests of riders and taxpayers.'' Bombardier declined to comment.

Difficulties have plagued the vehicle order tied to the $5.9-billion light rail line now under construction along and underneath Toronto's Eglinton Avenue, with legal battles leading to a reduced contract in 2017. Meanwhile both New York City Transit and Swiss Federal Railways opted last month to stop taking new trains from the company until it fixes the ones already in service, with deliveries to New York resuming this week.