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The Globe and Mail

Metrolinx drops appeal of court decision over Bombardier contract

A Metrolinx LRV is shown being built in Thunder Bay in this recent handout photo.


Metrolinx is conceding a legal battle with Bombardier, opting not to pursue an appeal of a court decision that restricted its ability to cancel a contentious $770-million order for transit vehicles.

The regional transit agency, which has been embroiled in a dispute with the Quebec-based manufacturer for several years, had filed a formal notice of appeal. That kept open its option for continuing the case, but it chose to let the window of opportunity lapse without taking further action.

"We are concentrating on the dispute-resolution process with Bombardier and decided to not continue with the appeal process," Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said in an e-mail Friday afternoon. She would not elaborate.

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The contract being fought over is an order to build 182 light-rail vehicles, primarily for the Eglinton Crosstown line now being built in midtown Toronto. Metrolinx had claimed that Bombardier had missed multiple deadlines and could not be relied upon to produce the vehicles by the time the line was due to open. The company countered that it would have no trouble providing the vehicles, and that Metrolinx was trying to wiggle out of the contract.

Although the decision not to appeal was a victory for Bombardier, it came the same day as bad news for the firm; Metrolinx announced that it would be seeking a private partner to assess operations of its commuter rail division, a role now partially filled by Bombardier, and to take over operations once the expansion of the system is complete some time next decade.

The new partner would replace three private entities currently operating elements of Metrolinx's train service. The companies now doing the role are not eligible to bid on the business, which will include an assessment of the work they have been doing.

The Toronto Transit Commission is investing in signalling upgrades that will hopefully see them able to run subway trains closer together.
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