City Council approves funds for TTC purchase of new streetcars



    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Toronto transit users will soon be riding the
rails in new Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) that will be manufactured in Ontario
following today's City Council approval of the funds necessary to complete the
purchase.
    In a Special Meeting today City Council approved the deferral of $417
million in the TTC capital budget so the TTC can complete the purchase of 204
LRVs from Bombardier Transportation Canada Inc. to replace its aging streetcar
fleet. The Bombardier purchase price was guaranteed until June 27, 2009.
    "This purchase will allow the TTC to replace its aging streetcar fleet
with modern light rail vehicles that can carry more riders," said Mayor
Miller. "This is a made-in-Ontario solution that will generate thousands of
desperately needed manufacturing jobs, provide a huge infusion into the
economy and generate millions in tax revenues to the provincial and federal
governments.
    The City of Toronto has committed $834 million towards the $1.2 billion
costs of the 204 LRVs. Council's approval of funding, today, allows the TTC to
place the streetcar order with Bombardier. The TTC will defer certain capital
projects between 2012 and 2018 totalling $417 million. That money will be
applied to the streetcar purchase. While those capital projects are important,
acquiring new streetcars for Toronto is a priority. These changes to the TTC's
capital budget will not impact service or fares.
    The Province of Ontario committed $417 million to the purchase in a June
19, 2009 announcement with Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David
Miller. The LRVs will be manufactured in Thunder Bay, providing stimulus to
the provincial economy.
    At its December 2008 meeting City Council voted unanimously to approve
the TTC capital plan that included the LRV purchase; and to request the
federal government provide 1/3 of the funding for the LRV purchase. Today's
Special Meeting was necessary because the City's request for one-third federal
funding was recently declined by Ottawa.
    The TTC purchased 248 streetcars in the 1970s and 1980s, and these
vehicles now need to be replaced, as the aging fleets are nearing the end of
their useful lives. They are not accessible, their reliability is steadily
declining, and maintenance costs continue to rise. The new streetcars will be
low-floor, quieter, have features such as air conditioning for greater
customer comfort, and be able to carry almost twice as many people as the
TTC's current streetcars do. The new vehicles will help address crowding on
the TTC's streetcar routes, and accommodate ridership growth. The new vehicles
will also have leading-edge technology for better reliability and performance.
    The delivery plan for the 204 streetcars calls for a prototype vehicle to
be delivered to the TTC in 2011. LRVs for passenger service will begin to
arrive in late 2011, early 2012. All 204 cars will be delivered by 2018.
    The City of Toronto and the TTC look forward to meeting the transit needs
of the people of Toronto with new streetcars. The city has a long and proud
history of light rail, and many Torontonians provided input to the TTC two
years ago at the CNE and through the website, mynewstreetcar.ca.
    These new streetcars will be the fourth generation of streetcar built for
the TTC in the last 88 years, following the Peter Witt car (1921-1963), the
Presidents' Conference Committee car (PCC, 1938-1995) and the CLRV and ALRV
(Canadian/Articulated Light Rail Vehicle, 1978-present and 1987-present,
respectively).

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in
delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's
incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity,
opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

    
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                     Visit our website at www.toronto.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Don Wanagas, Director of
Communications, Office of Mayor David Miller, (416) 338-7134,
dwanagas@toronto.ca; Brad Ross, TTC - Director - Corporate Communications,
(416) 393-3598, cell (416) 206-3727, brad.ross@ttc.ca


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