Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (307, 308)

Charlie O'Connor

Ceist:

383 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for Transport if, in the context of the start up of Luas services in 2004, consideration has been given to including these services on the integrated transport tickets which many members of the public purchase in April; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3632/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

The Railway Procurement Agency has statutory responsibility for the implementation and delivery of an integrated ticketing system which will enable a passenger to use a single ticket on one or more public transport services by road or rail, irrespective of the operators involved. This includes Luas. The system which the RPA is developing will use smart card technologies and the target date for launch of the full integrated ticketing system is 2005.

Pending the full introduction of integrated ticketing using smart card technology, the RPA and Dublin Bus are working on an integrated ticket using existing technology. The scheme under which benefit-in-kind tax exemptions are available on travel passes paid for by employers has been included in the new Finance Bill to include integrated tickets and the new Luas services.

Pat Carey

Ceist:

384 Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Transport if an assessment has been made on the possibility of providing a Luas line to Dublin Airport via Glasnevin and Ballymun; if so, the outcome of this assessment; if an assessment is being made of the feasibility of building a spur to the airport off the DART line serving the north side of Dublin city; if this examination includes a cost comparison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3693/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a metro with a link to Dublin Airport. The proposed metro overtook earlier proposals for a Luas line to Dublin Airport.

The original outline business case for phase one of the metro from the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, involved a line from the airport to the city centre. This was subsequently revised to take account of the relevant experience in Madrid and contained a number of changes in comparison with the original business case. These changes reduced the capital cost of the proposal significantly and involved a shorter, more direct route and fewer station changes in design. At my request, the RPA is doing further work on this revision. I expect to bring my proposals on the metro to the Government in the coming weeks.

The precise route, and hence costs, will depend on a number of factors, including the Government decision, geo-technical surveys, negotiations with bidders and the railway order process, including the public inquiry. In preparing a submission for the Government on this matter, the merits of all alternative solutions and routes will be considered. In this regard, a spur from the DART to the airport would have only limited capacity, would deal only with airport traffic and, compared with a Dublin metro system, would make little contribution to relieving congestion.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport has recently commissioned a report on the metro. The committee's report will be completed shortly and I look forward to receiving it.