Vancouver's SkyTrain technology is not proprietary, says Bombardier

Mar 19 2019, 2:28 am

Written for Daily Hive by Tyler Conley, vice-president of Bombardier Transport’s Western Canada division.

Bombardier Transportation wishes to address some misconceptions raised in the motion presented by Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick on March 14 to Vancouver City Council.

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Linear Induction Motor (LIM) technology, which is the chosen propulsion system of the Vancouver SkyTrain, is not Bombardier-owned intellectual property nor any other car builders.

However, over the last 30 years, Bombardier has invested heavily to develop and further refine this technology in Canada. This development effort has led to a more efficient and reliable system. Bombardier has also exported this technology to cities around the world, such as New York City and Kuala Lumpur. We are part of a handful of mobility solution providers that can claim they master this technology and have a proven track record.

Bombardier is proud to be a national mobility champion that moves 500 million people daily in 200 cities, including in the wonderful city of Vancouver.

Bombardier did not, however, receive preferential treatment with regards to TransLink procurements, which must adhere to procurement law. For the most recent evolution of this development, the third generation of SkyTrain vehicles, Bombardier participated in an open procurement process like any mobility supplier could have done, then entered into good faith negotiations, and once the contract was signed, carried significant development and execution at risk.

The third generation (“Mark III”) trains have been in operation since 2016 and have received excellent and positive feedback from TransLink and Vancouverites.

As for the content of Councillor Hardwick’s motion, Bombardier has always maintained the highest standards of ethical behaviour, we comply with the laws of every country in which we operate and observe the highest ethical standards. We are fully cooperating with an ongoing World Bank investigation.

Concerning the referenced New York City Transit issue of a halt in deliveries, we would point out that the matter was resolved four days later on January 28, to the satisfaction of our customer.

We are honoured and proud to be a business partner of TransLink for over three decades, providing safe, reliable and sustainable mobility solutions. We hope to continue to move the people of Vancouver for decades to come.

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