The European Investment Bank has approved a €500 million loan for Dublin's metro system, citing the project as a significant contribution to sustainable urban transport for the city. The government has always remained tight-lipped about the budget allotted for the metro on the grounds of commercial sensitivity; however it is now keen to act quickly by taking advantage of the current hugely-decreased building costs.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey claimed it was an important signal of confidence in Dublin's priority public transport system. The 19km Dublin Metro, which will run from Dublin city centre to Fingal via Dublin airport, has a provisional completion date of 2016. 21 trains will service the 17 stations.
Described as a 'light metro system', its design will form the basis of a future integrated public transport network in the Dublin area, linking it with the Luas, Dart and suburban rail services. However it will first be necessary to provide connections linking Heuston and Connolly stations with St Stephen's Green in the centre but, due to cutbacks, completion is not scheduled until 2018.