I propose to take Questions Nos. 651, 655 and 677 together.
As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. At a policy level our aim is encourage more and more people to choose sustainable mobility as their preferred means of transport and to support that aim I have secured significant increases to the funding levels available to support delivery by the relevant agencies, principally the National Transport Authority (NTA).
Since 2016, there have been a number of notable improvements across all modes –
- Continued expansion of the PSO bus fleet supporting expanded services in all major cities;
- The opening of the Phoenix Park tunnel in 2016 and expansion of rail services using it since that date;
- The opening of the Luas Cross City creating new interchange possibilities between both Luas lines and the heavy rail network;
- The Luas Green Line Capacity Enhancement project which will see all 26 trams extended to 55m and 8 additional trams purchased to increase capacity on the Line. The first of those extensions will enter service this year;
- The provision of significant additional funding to Iarnród Éireann which means the rail network is now funded at the “steady state” level as measured on an annual basis; and
- Completion of a number of important active travel projects in Dublin and in other cities.
In addition to the above, planning has continued in relation to the three transformative projects – BusConnects, DART Expansion and MetroLink.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area and our regional cities.
Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply. Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.