Bombardier asks court to allow it to bid on Metrolinx contract

TORONTO — Bombardier is asking the courts to review a decision by Metrolinx to exclude the company from bidding on a contract for an operator to help with its regional express rail plan.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) filed an application for a judicial review by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday saying excluding it from bidding on the contract, which it estimates is valued at over $2 billion, is improper.

The company is also asking the court to extend the deadline to submit its proposal.

Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said Bombardier and three other operators that Metrolinx currently works with were excluded because they can’t objectively assess current operations and service providers.

She said Metrolinx has contracts with Bombardier, CN, PNR RailWorks and CP and until 2023.

Aikins said the other three operators have not launched similar legal battles, and the call for a new operator does not preclude Bombardier from continuing in its role after its contract expires.

Metrolinx announced last month that it would seek new operators to take over the suburban GO Transit and UP Express airport rail services after the current contract expires.

The winning bidder, to be chosen in about a year, will first review the current operations and then operate the services as it quadruples in size to 6,000 trains a week from 1,500.

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