Under the Transport (Rail Infrastructure) Act 2001 the Railway Procurement Agency has a statutory obligation to secure the provision of such light railway and metro railway infrastructure as I may from time to time determine.
I have confidence in the ability of the RPA to procure the proposed Dublin metro on a cost-effective basis. A competitive procurement process will determine the eventual cost of the metro to the Exchequer as distinct from estimated costs at this early stage of the process. The level and quality of the international interest in the competition for the metro project, as proven by the 18 companies which have pre-qualified for the competition also supports my view on this matter as potential bidders would not engage in the lengthy and expensive process without having confidence in the RPA.
Furthermore, during his recent visit, Professor Melis Maynar, the President of Metro de Madrid, which has been responsible for the delivery of over 100 kilometres of new metro in Madrid in the past eight years has commented very favourably on the quality and ability of the Irish engineers involved in this and other projects.
My Department is currently finalising its evaluation of the RPAs recommendations on how the PPP procurement of the first metro line should proceed and I will be bringing proposals to the Government shortly.