Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
The anti-metro bias has always been founded on the grounds that the Metro doesn't have any passengers today. Irish Rail has 45 million and the situation isn't great for them right now.
Metro will increase pressure on the rail network. Fix the problems before expanding
I can't argue with that.
I totally agree that urgent action is needed to fix Irish Rail, but instead the government has been doing its best to drive them out of business. Realistically, the financial and management situation at Irish Rail needs to be stabalised before we can even talk about major investment projects like DART Underground. That means either restoring and probably improving the government subvention, or very hefty fare increases and probably closing all but the most essential lines. I suspect most here would favour the former.
I think the question of DART/Metro isn't so much a question of which is better, but what's the right order to do it in. Without DART Underground, both are less capable, have more awkward connections and longer journey times, and as a result many people will not make the switch from their cars. DART Underground is needed. Transport 21 had DU and Metro north being built in parallel, which meant it was both solving the problems of existing users and adding new users through new lines and electrification of existing ones.
But when you look at the best way to connect the airport to the city centre, I would like to see both projects evaluated on their merits. I think there would be a strong case for eventually having both DART and Metro connected to the airport, and the most forward thinking approach would be to build a 4-platform underground station for whichever gets there first, to leave spare platforms for the other to be added later.
The fact that DAA only look at rail connections in terms of lost parking revenue doesn't help.