Urban Transportation Development Corporation

The Urban Transportation Development Corporation, or UTDC as it was commonly known, was an Ontario, Canada, Crown corporation created in the 1970s as a way to enter what was then expected to be a burgeoning market in advanced light rail mass transit systems. UTDC developed a vehicle that would provide service at rider levels between what would normally be served by a traditional subway on the upper end or buses and streetcars on the lower, filling a niche aimed at suburbs that were otherwise expensive to service. The Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS) found sales with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the Detroit People Mover and the Vancouver SkyTrain.

Further sales proved more difficult than initially hoped, and there were questions about the company's ability to survive. In the early 1980s, Hawker Siddeley Canada joined forces with UTDC in order to win a number of contracts with the TTC and GO Transit. Forming a joint operating company at their Canadian Car and Foundry (CC&F) factories in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Can-Car Rail built heavy-rail passenger cars, subway cars, streetcars and other vehicles. Now armed with a complete portfolio from light to heavy rail, UTDC had a number of additional "wins" across North America, becoming a major vendor in the mass transit market. It was eventually privatized in the 1980s, when it was purchased by Lavalin of Quebec. Lavlin ran into financial difficulties in the early 1990s and sold its interest in UTDC to Bombardier in 1991.

Bombardier operates UTDC as part of their Bombardier Transportation brand. Bombardier has had greater success marketing the product portfolio abroad, and the ICTS, now known as the Advanced Rapid Transit (ART), has been sold to a number of operators and is currently in operation or under expansion in seven cities around the world. Bombardier often relies on Lavalin's new owners, SNC-Lavalin, to plan the construction of the rights-of-way and set up the operations centers. The UTDC factories in Kingston, Ontario and Thunder Bay continue to produce rapid transit systems for use in Ontario and abroad.

Read more about Urban Transportation Development Corporation:  Major Clients

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