Alstom takeover of Bombardier LRT maintenance contract bad news for Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, released the following statement regarding Metrolinx’s latest P3 fiascos with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT being further delayed “well into 2022” and problem-plagued Alstom soon taking over Bombardier’s 30-year, $403-million maintenance contract for the LRT line:

“Make no mistake – Metrolinx is selling out the public interest in favour of its public-private-partnership contracts with big, unaccountable and profit-hungry companies. In the latest blow to Metrolinx’s failed P3 model, Torontonians have learned they must wait well into 2022 for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to begin operating, once again delaying much-needed transit in our city.

This delay comes after reports the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is at risk of going over budget by more than $330 million. With these major financial and schedule overruns that are costing Torontonians dearly, Metrolinx needs a new approach to building, operating and maintaining transit – and that proven approach is to keep all transit public.

Along with the cost and schedule overruns, Metrolinx faces even more problems with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. The Alstom takeover of Bombardier’s $403-million, 30-year maintenance contract for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT raises significant concerns about the French multinational Alstom’s ability to deliver maintenance services, especially given the company’s ongoing problems in Ottawa, where its Alstom Citadis Spirit trains have malfunctioned on the new Ottawa LRT system, causing major headaches for Ottawa commuters. Frustrated with Alstom’s service, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said Alstom’s reputation is in ‘tatters’ and the mayor said he is unable to recommend Alstom trains to other cities interested in the rail vehicles.

If Alstom cannot deliver on its commitment to Ottawa, how can Metrolinx trust the French multinational to properly maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT once its finally operational?

Torontonians deserve better from Metrolinx when it comes to public transit, such as the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Once operational, skilled and trusted TTC workers – not problem-plagued Alstom – should maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Torontonians have had enough with major cost and schedule overruns that are far too common with Metrolinx’s failed P3 model.”

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