Scrap the Dublin Metro Project!

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Despite Ireland being in recession and despite an emergency, early budget to try to deal with the crisis, and despite a projected shortfall in taxes of €7.5 billion the government of Ireland still sees fit to proceed with a €4 billion plan to develop a small metro system in Dublin. This proposed budget, which will no doubt be inflated as time goes on given government failures with previous capital projects, is equal to over half of the tax shortfall and would put the country in a far better position financially if it was not spent developing a metro line only in Dublin. Many respected business people have already said that building a metro in Dublin will not be a sensible decision nor return any true net worth to the tax payers who are paying for it. In addition, a similar metro project, but more advanced, was completed in Madrid in 2003 at a mere €1.6 billion (http://www.urbantransport-technology.com/projects/madrid/), less than half of the proposed Irish budget. This is a gross misuse of Irish taxpayer’s money and it should be stopped. It’s no more than a vanity project for the government and is far too costly in these times of economic recession and tax shortfalls. Join the cause, let the feeling be known!

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  1. Pingback: I can go to London if I want to travel u … « Paul M. Watson

  2. just a few comments, i havent looked into them too much in detail :o):
    – its a capital project, so expense is expected to be high, with that pay back is also expected?
    – its a capital project, its needed, cost is going to be high!
    – the original Metro lines they planned are making money much fast than expected, and those lines will have paid for themselves i think it was in 15 years now – i certainly would like to see a reference to those who claim otherwise.
    transport is a serious problem in dublin.
    – comparing Dublin to Madrid is like apples to oranges, a building a skyscraper in NYC costs billions of dollars, that same building project in Ireland costs hundreds of millions, and in Spain costs 10’s of millions – why? different costs of living, wages etc – i earned 1400 per week working on a building project in NYC, and I know that the average wages in parts of “1st world western Europe” can be as little as 8k per year, and they are not living in poverty (the algarve)

    – but i think the bottom line is: it takes spending money to revitalize a faltering economy, not paying back loans or cutting back drastically on expenditure.

  3. just a few comments, i havent looked into them too much in detail :o):
    – its a capital project, so expense is expected to be high, with that pay back is also expected?
    – its a capital project, its needed, cost is going to be high!
    – the original Metro lines they planned are making money much fast than expected, and those lines will have paid for themselves i think it was in 15 years now – i certainly would like to see a reference to those who claim otherwise.
    transport is a serious problem in dublin.
    – comparing Dublin to Madrid is like apples to oranges, a building a skyscraper in NYC costs billions of dollars, that same building project in Ireland costs hundreds of millions, and in Spain costs 10’s of millions – why? different costs of living, wages etc – i earned 1400 per week working on a building project in NYC, and I know that the average wages in parts of “1st world western Europe” can be as little as 8k per year, and they are not living in poverty (the algarve)

    – but i think the bottom line is: it takes spending money to revitalize a faltering economy, not paying back loans or cutting back drastically on expenditure.

  4. @Dave

    For sure all capital projects have high expense, less they not be capital projects. 😉 However, the question hangs over the need for such a project. Just because it will be used does not mean that it is needed. Dublin has massive problems with sprawl, caused by bad urban planning and woeful centralisation of the country’s employment. The only way this system would logically make sense would be for Dublin to create even more problems and that really doesn’t make sense. Let me explain myself: If this system is used and takes people from Stephen’s Green to the airport and all stops along the way then it is doubling up on a number of existing transport services that do the same thing. If population stays the same and Dublin doesn’t sprawl any more then this metro would eradicate the need for buses and other services, which let’s face it will not be allowed to happen. The only way to sustain the demand would be to continue creating the problem that got Dublin to where it is today.

    There are no existing metro lines in Ireland yet so I assume that you mean the Luas? They are making money but things will always make money when nothing is done to counteract the problem of population explosion and employment centralisation. It’s a bit like digging a hole and expecting it to not fill up with air.

    Comparing Dublin to Madrid is far from an incomparable statement. The two cities are only separated by a small difference on the cost of living charts published by Mercer this year. They are both dynamic cities where space is at a high premium and Madrid has far more people to cater for and therefore even greater disruption by such a project.

    Spending money will indeed get an economy moving again. However, spending public finances in times of massive budget deficits, money that will largely leave the national economy and further drain it, and spending money on a vanity project that will only serve a tiny percentage of the country’s population will not do anything for a recession. As I said in the original post, we could wipe out over half the tax shortfall with this project and not slip backwards in terms of dealing with public needs. Sadly centralisation, vanity spires, and unnecessary transport systems are the way the government of this country thinks.

  5. @Dave

    For sure all capital projects have high expense, less they not be capital projects. 😉 However, the question hangs over the need for such a project. Just because it will be used does not mean that it is needed. Dublin has massive problems with sprawl, caused by bad urban planning and woeful centralisation of the country’s employment. The only way this system would logically make sense would be for Dublin to create even more problems and that really doesn’t make sense. Let me explain myself: If this system is used and takes people from Stephen’s Green to the airport and all stops along the way then it is doubling up on a number of existing transport services that do the same thing. If population stays the same and Dublin doesn’t sprawl any more then this metro would eradicate the need for buses and other services, which let’s face it will not be allowed to happen. The only way to sustain the demand would be to continue creating the problem that got Dublin to where it is today.

    There are no existing metro lines in Ireland yet so I assume that you mean the Luas? They are making money but things will always make money when nothing is done to counteract the problem of population explosion and employment centralisation. It’s a bit like digging a hole and expecting it to not fill up with air.

    Comparing Dublin to Madrid is far from an incomparable statement. The two cities are only separated by a small difference on the cost of living charts published by Mercer this year. They are both dynamic cities where space is at a high premium and Madrid has far more people to cater for and therefore even greater disruption by such a project.

    Spending money will indeed get an economy moving again. However, spending public finances in times of massive budget deficits, money that will largely leave the national economy and further drain it, and spending money on a vanity project that will only serve a tiny percentage of the country’s population will not do anything for a recession. As I said in the original post, we could wipe out over half the tax shortfall with this project and not slip backwards in terms of dealing with public needs. Sadly centralisation, vanity spires, and unnecessary transport systems are the way the government of this country thinks.

  6. Since the Metro is a PPP will it cost the tax payer €4bn or will it cost the Private invester €4bn?

    And the fact that the Madris Metro cost so much less was down to a number of reasons as far as I know. Madrid had no requirement for an environmental assesment and there was no public consultation.

  7. Since the Metro is a PPP will it cost the tax payer €4bn or will it cost the Private invester €4bn?

    And the fact that the Madris Metro cost so much less was down to a number of reasons as far as I know. Madrid had no requirement for an environmental assesment and there was no public consultation.

  8. Hi Niall, thanks for the comment. The last spoken word on this matter since it seems to have disappeared (read escaped) all the cost cutting talks of recent times was that 4bn of public funds were being set aside for the building of the system. Whether or not a PPP means that this will run way beyond 4bn or simply that a private company will take charge of running and maintaining the system is yet unclear.

    The reasons that you state regarding the Madrid metro may be true (I’m not sure if no environmental study was required) but the cost of the system cannot be ignored considering it offers far more than the proposed works in Dublin – especially at a time of economic gloom such as now. We had the same farce of an overspend on the Luas system compared to what other successful EU countries paid for similar systems and the ill wind seems to prevail with this proposal. The metro is a vanity project and offers nothing above the current infrastructure provisions. If the government is so keen to spend 4bn on infrastructure they should resurface and clean up the b-roads of the country where people are dying every day.

  9. In terms of rail line coverage in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, most of the city has coverage i.e.

    (clockwise order from northeast)
    The north east and south east of the city are covered by the DART.
    The south central area is covered by the luas green line.
    The south west area is covered by the luas red line.
    The west is covered by the Heuston->Kildare commuter line.
    The north west area is covered by the Connolly->Maynooth commuter line.

    This creates an almost complete radial-design commuter rail system for the DMR.

    The only rail access black spot missing from the radial design is the Dublin north central area. This is what Metro North was designed for.

    The orbital Metro West is not part of this radial design but was added in to give access to various points of the system to people living in the west Dublin suburbs.

    The reality is that these projects have to be built sometime, and labour costs are lower in a recession.

    Buses simply don’t make the grade. One day (Not during rush hour) I wanted to travel from Blanchardstown to Howth Junction Dart Station (It doesn’t seem too far, does it?). I got the 220 Bus from Blanchardstown to Ballymun (This took 2 hours), I then got the 17A from from Ballymun to Howth Junction Dart Station (This took another 1 hour 30 minutes).

    3Hrs and 30 Minutes to get 3/4 way accross the city. These are the normal travel times for these buses.
    To put this in perspective, it takes around 2 hours to get from Dublin to Galway by train.

    Also, it can easily take up to 2 two hours to get from some suburbs to the city centre by bus, and theres no space on many of the routes used to create a bus lane unless the roads in question had a complete car ban.

    The reality is as a form of public transport, buses are terrible and are simply not up to the task. We use them simply because we’ve got nothing else. They are a last resort.

    Segregated rail systems are the way to go, they get you to your destination in a reasonable amount of time.

    The Metro North line serves many areas with demand for a high capacity public transport

    link.
    eg:
    Swords,
    Dublin Airport,
    Ballymun,
    DCU,
    Drumcondra rail interchange (Croke Park Stop),
    Mater Hospital (Phibsboro Stop)
    Parnell Street,
    O’Connell Bridge,
    St. Stephens Green
    etc…

  10. In terms of rail line coverage in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, most of the city has coverage i.e.

    (clockwise order from northeast)
    The north east and south east of the city are covered by the DART.
    The south central area is covered by the luas green line.
    The south west area is covered by the luas red line.
    The west is covered by the Heuston->Kildare commuter line.
    The north west area is covered by the Connolly->Maynooth commuter line.

    This creates an almost complete radial-design commuter rail system for the DMR.

    The only rail access black spot missing from the radial design is the Dublin north central area. This is what Metro North was designed for.

    The orbital Metro West is not part of this radial design but was added in to give access to various points of the system to people living in the west Dublin suburbs.

    The reality is that these projects have to be built sometime, and labour costs are lower in a recession.

    Buses simply don’t make the grade. One day (Not during rush hour) I wanted to travel from Blanchardstown to Howth Junction Dart Station (It doesn’t seem too far, does it?). I got the 220 Bus from Blanchardstown to Ballymun (This took 2 hours), I then got the 17A from from Ballymun to Howth Junction Dart Station (This took another 1 hour 30 minutes).

    3Hrs and 30 Minutes to get 3/4 way accross the city. These are the normal travel times for these buses.
    To put this in perspective, it takes around 2 hours to get from Dublin to Galway by train.

    Also, it can easily take up to 2 two hours to get from some suburbs to the city centre by bus, and theres no space on many of the routes used to create a bus lane unless the roads in question had a complete car ban.

    The reality is as a form of public transport, buses are terrible and are simply not up to the task. We use them simply because we’ve got nothing else. They are a last resort.

    Segregated rail systems are the way to go, they get you to your destination in a reasonable amount of time.

    The Metro North line serves many areas with demand for a high capacity public transport

    link.
    eg:
    Swords,
    Dublin Airport,
    Ballymun,
    DCU,
    Drumcondra rail interchange (Croke Park Stop),
    Mater Hospital (Phibsboro Stop)
    Parnell Street,
    O’Connell Bridge,
    St. Stephens Green
    etc…

  11. Its a public-private partnership and the Government pays its half of the cost in installments in the 25 years following its completion in 2013/2014

    People just want the government to get on with its construction.

    Irish times poll showing that 74% of people support it:
    http://scripts.ireland.com/polls/head2head/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8341&subsiteid=352

    Another Irish times poll showing that 59% of people support it:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8753&subsiteid=356

    Both polls show support for it, the most you can argue over is the how large is majority the metro supporters have. An average of the two polls suggests that 66.5% of the population supports the construction of the metro.

  12. Its a public-private partnership and the Government pays its half of the cost in installments in the 25 years following its completion in 2013/2014

    People just want the government to get on with its construction.

    Irish times poll showing that 74% of people support it:
    http://scripts.ireland.com/polls/head2head/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8341&subsiteid=352

    Another Irish times poll showing that 59% of people support it:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8753&subsiteid=356

    Both polls show support for it, the most you can argue over is the how large is majority the metro supporters have. An average of the two polls suggests that 66.5% of the population supports the construction of the metro.

  13. Some Relevant Information/Statistics:

    Its a public-private partnership and the Government pays its half of the cost in installments in the 25 years following its completion in 2013/2014 (most economists agree that Ireland and the rest of the world will be out of the recession by that time, even the great depression had an end in the 1930s)

    People just want the government to get on with its construction.

    Irish times poll showing that 74% of people support it:
    http://scripts.ireland.com/polls/head2head/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8341&subsiteid=352

    Another Irish times poll showing that 59% of people support it:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8753&subsiteid=356

    Both polls show support for it, the most you can argue over is the how large is majority the metro supporters have. An average of the two polls suggests that 66.5% of the population supports the construction of the metro.

  14. Some Relevant Information/Statistics:

    Its a public-private partnership and the Government pays its half of the cost in installments in the 25 years following its completion in 2013/2014 (most economists agree that Ireland and the rest of the world will be out of the recession by that time, even the great depression had an end in the 1930s)

    People just want the government to get on with its construction.

    Irish times poll showing that 74% of people support it:
    http://scripts.ireland.com/polls/head2head/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8341&subsiteid=352

    Another Irish times poll showing that 59% of people support it:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=yesnopoll&pollid=8753&subsiteid=356

    Both polls show support for it, the most you can argue over is the how large is majority the metro supporters have. An average of the two polls suggests that 66.5% of the population supports the construction of the metro.

  15. @John

    Firstly, thank you for your detailed and persistent comments on this subject.

    However, I regretfully say that you, like most people, are missing the point here. This is not about arguing about developing it and getting it out of the way nor that we will be out of recession and booming again by the time it’s over, nor is it even a matter of concern as to whether or not it’s a PPP.

    The problem is that we are in recession; old people are being forced out of hospital beds, children’s allowance is being cut, education spending is being cut, we have no inward investment, tax revenues are down massively and the government is seeking to find EUR 5bn by taxing the middle income earners out of existence. The budget for this project would solve a large part of the shortfall problem.

    The issue you describe, having to traverse the city and having it consume a large part of your day has nothing to do with Dublin needing a metro. The problem is that the governing forces of Ireland have failed miserably to create a regional spread of employment throughout the country but rather centralised, poorly planned, and developed an unsustainable and critical mass of chaos that forms Dublin central and its suburbs.

    You talk about the future and to where we should be looking to. The future is not found in treating the symptom of poorly planned investment strategies and lack of employment spreading (i.e. traffic chaos in Dublin) but rather it is found by analysing how each distinct region of the country can be developed to stand alone, reduce the drag on the capital city to provide employment for them and to have multiple centres of lesser mass, providing the same wealth of resource and employment.

    Naturally anybody can walk out into the streets of Dublin and ask people if they support a metro and sure who wouldn’t say yes? Of course it’s a nice idea and sure it might make some people’s lives a little easier. However, this is tax payers’ money and those monies do not come just from Dublin residents. It comes from the wider country who all have to suffer at the hands of budgets and micro-budgets to bring this country back out of recession. The return on investment is just not there to the country as a whole, especially when so much more could be achieved with the same expenditure, which will mostly leave the country by the use of required and suitably skilled foreign contractors. At the moment we, as a nation, need to focus on spending in areas that will create jobs, diminish the chance of unemployment black holes, educational apartheid, and the myriad of other real issues that face us, way above getting from one side of Dublin to the other. It is within this context that I express my rage at the continuance of this scheme, which within the confines of the current economic climate can be considered as nothing other than a vanity project that will serve few and cost many.

  16. Spending in this area will create 1000’s of jobs. i agree that we have suffered from awful public planning in the past but transport is central to a recovering economy. We need proper transport infrastructure in place so we can fully take advantage of the world wide economic recovery.

    It would be disastrous to scrap the project now.

    The private investors that were invited to tender for the project are all well known international conglomerates including Barclays, Siemens and HSBC among many others. Each consortium has already spent in the region of €15 million in the design of this project so to say it will be cancelled is sending out an enormous negative signal which would only harm the international vision of Ireland. It would only further damage our reputation.

    We have a very poor transport infrastructure by international standards, if we want to fully exploit the global recovery we need in place a transport network that matches our trading partners. Metro will form part of that network. We need to catch up with the rest of the world.

    Spending on infrastructure will stimulate an economic recovery and create jobs. Unemployment is the single biggest contributor to the public finance deficit. It decreases tax revenue and increases public expenditure.

  17. Spending in this area will create 1000’s of jobs. i agree that we have suffered from awful public planning in the past but transport is central to a recovering economy. We need proper transport infrastructure in place so we can fully take advantage of the world wide economic recovery.

    It would be disastrous to scrap the project now.

    The private investors that were invited to tender for the project are all well known international conglomerates including Barclays, Siemens and HSBC among many others. Each consortium has already spent in the region of €15 million in the design of this project so to say it will be cancelled is sending out an enormous negative signal which would only harm the international vision of Ireland. It would only further damage our reputation.

    We have a very poor transport infrastructure by international standards, if we want to fully exploit the global recovery we need in place a transport network that matches our trading partners. Metro will form part of that network. We need to catch up with the rest of the world.

    Spending on infrastructure will stimulate an economic recovery and create jobs. Unemployment is the single biggest contributor to the public finance deficit. It decreases tax revenue and increases public expenditure.

  18. The metro project will create over 7,000 direct jobs in the middle of a recession (and many more indirect jobs during construction and direct jobs when complete), and as I have pointed out earlier, the Government only starts paying its half of the cost in 25 yearly installments once its construcion has been completed. The population of the Dublin Metropolitan Region is between 1.2 and 1.6 million depending on what areas are included. They pay well over a third of the tax take of the state and deserve a reasonably good public transport system. This is economically feasible in Dublin, but in many parts of the country there is not enough population for high capacity public transport (ie: rail). Other places where it may be feasible to build this kind of infrastructure (luas, commuter rail etc…) include Cork, Limerick and Galway.

    The metro project’s estimated cost is €3.6 Billion, but various commentators keep pulling ridiculous figures out of their arses. The highest (and most ridiculous) I’ve heard was an estimate of 10 Billion. That could only happen if the metro rail lines were made of gold or some other rare metal.

    There are always people who are against progress. If Fine Gael had their way back in the 70’s the DART still would not exist. There were plenty of critics of the Luas before it was built but they mostly went quiet after its completion even though both lines are still being extended.

    Between 40 and 50 Million has already been spent of Consultant Fees, Planning, Design, Open Days, Rock Sampling by Norwest Holst etc…
    The construction of the station boxes at Dublin Airport and the Mater hospital will begin in a few months. The bidders have spent 60 million between them preparing their tenders. To scrap it now would be a disaster well beyond e-voting proportions. As a state Ireland would lose credibility. Building contractors would take announcements for a tendering process for infrastructure in Ireland with a large pinch of salt and probably decide to bid instead for contracts in other countries that have no history of cancelling at the last minute in typical Banana-Republic fashion.

    The vibes I get from jbwan’s comment is that he/she is more anti-any infrastructure in Dublin than anti-metro.

    The polls in question were both Irish Times polls, not specifically Dublin polls.

  19. The metro project will create over 7,000 direct jobs in the middle of a recession (and many more indirect jobs during construction and direct jobs when complete), and as I have pointed out earlier, the Government only starts paying its half of the cost in 25 yearly installments once its construcion has been completed. The population of the Dublin Metropolitan Region is between 1.2 and 1.6 million depending on what areas are included. They pay well over a third of the tax take of the state and deserve a reasonably good public transport system. This is economically feasible in Dublin, but in many parts of the country there is not enough population for high capacity public transport (ie: rail). Other places where it may be feasible to build this kind of infrastructure (luas, commuter rail etc…) include Cork, Limerick and Galway.

    The metro project’s estimated cost is €3.6 Billion, but various commentators keep pulling ridiculous figures out of their arses. The highest (and most ridiculous) I’ve heard was an estimate of 10 Billion. That could only happen if the metro rail lines were made of gold or some other rare metal.

    There are always people who are against progress. If Fine Gael had their way back in the 70’s the DART still would not exist. There were plenty of critics of the Luas before it was built but they mostly went quiet after its completion even though both lines are still being extended.

    Between 40 and 50 Million has already been spent of Consultant Fees, Planning, Design, Open Days, Rock Sampling by Norwest Holst etc…
    The construction of the station boxes at Dublin Airport and the Mater hospital will begin in a few months. The bidders have spent 60 million between them preparing their tenders. To scrap it now would be a disaster well beyond e-voting proportions. As a state Ireland would lose credibility. Building contractors would take announcements for a tendering process for infrastructure in Ireland with a large pinch of salt and probably decide to bid instead for contracts in other countries that have no history of cancelling at the last minute in typical Banana-Republic fashion.

    The vibes I get from jbwan’s comment is that he/she is more anti-any infrastructure in Dublin than anti-metro.

    The polls in question were both Irish Times polls, not specifically Dublin polls.

  20. @Niall

    I’m afraid that I have to disagree entirely. The reputation of this country has been irrecoverably damaged and not because of the threat to infrastructure projects. Scrapping any white elephant of these proportions would only send out the message that Ireland is at least thinking about spreading investment into creating indigenous jobs rather than dumping billions outside of Ireland to treat the symptom of a problem rather than actually do anything to draw in further investment in a very small geographic region.

    @John

    I’m not anti-infrastructure in Dublin and frankly that’s a cheap shot to try and win the argument. I would not approve of this project in any city in Ireland, in the current climate. You talk about creating so many jobs but the reality is of course what you’re not saying; that these jobs will nearly all go to foreign workers who will only be here for the duration of the project or part thereof because we do not have the skills required to build such a project. Therefore the money spent goes straight out of Ireland.

    The polls in the Times may have been public-orientated from the website but the majority of positive comments came from Dublin-based people. Hence my statement about walking the streets of Dublin looking for opinion.

    The country cannot afford this project – it is a vanity project, end of story. Treating the symptom of a problem that will not go away and will only serve the needs of pedestrians and not couriers, freight, and the vast majority of business traffic will not help to generate inward investment and job revitalisation. Redirecting this money elsewhere in the country to create centres of FDI attraction and atomic, regional hubs that sustain their own radius rather than sending their offspring to Dublin for a job come leaving school, will help the country to recover. Just because some money is spent does not mean that we have to spend a huge amount more – that’s the mindset of a gambler on a losing streak and look where that has gotten us in the last 15 years by pouring money into a finite construction industry and ignoring the jobs crisis on the horizon. I want this country to succeed and have a capital city that is the rival of any other in Europe but we will not achieve that as long as we treat symptoms instead of removing the cause of our problems.

  21. So what will happen when Swords’ population grows to 100,000?

    Do we not need a rail link between the Airport and the City?

  22. So what will happen when Swords’ population grows to 100,000?

    Do we not need a rail link between the Airport and the City?

  23. “these jobs will nearly all go to foreign workers who will only be here for the duration of the project or part thereof because we do not have the skills required to build such a project”.

    I will believe this statement when jbwan provides evidence showing that “nearly all” of the Luas construction workers were not Irish.
    The same goes for the workers employed during the creation of the DART and Commuter rail services.

    Dublin is still the only major capital in Europe that does not have a rail link to its Airport. North Central Dublin still has no rail access despite having a population that would merit a high capacity rail transport link.

    Eg:

    Swords,
    Dublin Airport,
    Ballymun,
    DCU,
    Drumcondra rail interchange (Croke Park Stop),
    Mater Hospital (Phibsboro Stop)

    These are only a few of the stops on the line.

    ” I would not approve of this project in any city in Ireland, in the current climate. ”

    Most countries only invest in this kind of infrastructure in a recession as doing so in a boom results in massive cost overruns. They then pay for these projects when the economy recovers. This is the best of both worlds. For example, all the Scandanavian countries follow this build-in-recession pay-in-boom policy.

    If we proceed we get a metro line, if we cancel we get a bill for the costs so far and nothing to show for it. The comparison you have used is invalid, a gambler has no guarantee of any return. The government and the electorate know that they will get a metro.

  24. “these jobs will nearly all go to foreign workers who will only be here for the duration of the project or part thereof because we do not have the skills required to build such a project”.

    I will believe this statement when jbwan provides evidence showing that “nearly all” of the Luas construction workers were not Irish.
    The same goes for the workers employed during the creation of the DART and Commuter rail services.

    Dublin is still the only major capital in Europe that does not have a rail link to its Airport. North Central Dublin still has no rail access despite having a population that would merit a high capacity rail transport link.

    Eg:

    Swords,
    Dublin Airport,
    Ballymun,
    DCU,
    Drumcondra rail interchange (Croke Park Stop),
    Mater Hospital (Phibsboro Stop)

    These are only a few of the stops on the line.

    ” I would not approve of this project in any city in Ireland, in the current climate. ”

    Most countries only invest in this kind of infrastructure in a recession as doing so in a boom results in massive cost overruns. They then pay for these projects when the economy recovers. This is the best of both worlds. For example, all the Scandanavian countries follow this build-in-recession pay-in-boom policy.

    If we proceed we get a metro line, if we cancel we get a bill for the costs so far and nothing to show for it. The comparison you have used is invalid, a gambler has no guarantee of any return. The government and the electorate know that they will get a metro.

  25. @Niall

    The solution is to provide employment in other areas of the country so that unsupportable population masses do not accumulate. We might be a small island but the country isn’t so small that we have nowhere else to encourage business to develop and communities to thrive, rather than just treating a symptom of a much greater problem.

    @John

    At this stage John I’m led to believe that you either work for the government or are some other way entangled in this project. I can appreciate Niall’s arguments and also your initial gambit. However, asking me to prove that the workers on the metro project will not be from foreign companies, drafted for the duration, by examining past and unrelated projects with completely different skill sets is not only pointless but completely unrealistic.

    The government may get a metro if the pay for it (don’t see what the point of you saying that is) but my analogy stands up as this is a massive gamble. You have already said that Dublin has at most one third of the tax base for the country, therefore two thirds of tax payers are not being served by this at first glance. On further glance, taking into consideration the Dublin central population and the complete lack of their need for this system bar one or two occasional trips that are not time constrained adds even more tax payers who are not being served by this system. The fact is that this system will solve the needs of very few tax payers in this country, it only addresses the symptom of a much greater problem and will not help business development as Dublin is already massively overdeveloped and the law of diminishing returns is now active. The rest of the country is crying out for investment, jobs development and infrastructural development that will have a much greater return on investment for IRELAND and not just resolving the commuting needs of a much smaller fraction of the population who are overly centralised in a poorly planned mess of a sprawling city. Again I’m not arguing that a metro is pointless in general but given the current economic climate and what the ENTIRE country needs, this is a white elephant of a project that is not giving anything back to the vast majority of Irish citizens/inhabitants.

  26. Previous experience best indicates the way the same kind of projects will be managed in the future.

    Building the luas is not “completely different” from building the metro. Even the gague is the same to allow for a link-up later. If it is the difference of a tunnel you are referring to, how about providing some evidence that the Jack Lynch tunnel in Cork or the port tunnel in Dublin were built mainly by non-Irish workers.

    I know that you cannot produce this evidence for the Port tunnel, DART, Luas etc… because you know very well that the majority of the workers on these projects were Irish and you’re just trying to gloss over your lie about non-Irish workers building the metro in your previous post.
    You are being intentionally vague on something that there is a clear-cut answer for.

    The fact is that you started this “Scrap the Metro” topic on the 3rd of December 2008 and none of the commentators who have bothered to respond have agreed with your sentiment. You have also attemped, unconvincingly in my opinion, to refute these commentators views.

    Now you appear to be suggesting that the government will proceed with the project, pay the money and will not get the Metro delivered. Given that the project is a public-private partnership, the government is not bound to pay anything until the project is delivered (even then it’s cost is paid in 25 yearly installments). So unless we’re on the brink of an apocalypse or an unforeseen natural disaster, the government will have the Metro delivered and then begin paying for it.

    I do not work for the government and have no links with the metro project other than it is being built in the city I live in.

    Given that you appear keen to spread misinformation, fear, uncertainty and doubt about the metro project, my guess is that you have a personal financial interest in stopping this vital piece of infrastructure from going ahead. Are you the managing director of a bus manufacturer by any chance? or Dublin Bus?

    jbwan quote:
    “You have already said that Dublin has at most one third of the tax base for the country”

    More misinformation by you, I said “They pay well over a third of the tax take of the state and deserve a reasonably good public transport system.”

    Many of the high income professional jobs in Ireland are in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, so they would pay more taxes than the rest of the country.

    Here is an income map of Ireland (100=Average Income)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Ireland_income_distribution_chart.gif

    Your argument about most people not using the line is fallacious. Commuters in Dublin tend to use only one or two of the rail transport lines to get to work, not all of them. Yet if you remove any one of them you will have a lot of angry people on your hands.

    This is about creating a comprehensive rail transport system for the entire Dublin area. The last three parts are the two metro lines and the DART interconnector. We shouldn’t be stopping at the last hurdle with a bunch of disconnected systems when completing these projects will connect the system together and make it far easier to get around Dublin.

    Transport problems exist in Dublin, you just want to shelve the solutions to these problems.

    No one particular capital investment project will “give something back to the vast majority of Irish citizens/inhabitants”

  27. Previous experience best indicates the way the same kind of projects will be managed in the future.

    Building the luas is not “completely different” from building the metro. Even the gague is the same to allow for a link-up later. If it is the difference of a tunnel you are referring to, how about providing some evidence that the Jack Lynch tunnel in Cork or the port tunnel in Dublin were built mainly by non-Irish workers.

    I know that you cannot produce this evidence for the Port tunnel, DART, Luas etc… because you know very well that the majority of the workers on these projects were Irish and you’re just trying to gloss over your lie about non-Irish workers building the metro in your previous post.
    You are being intentionally vague on something that there is a clear-cut answer for.

    The fact is that you started this “Scrap the Metro” topic on the 3rd of December 2008 and none of the commentators who have bothered to respond have agreed with your sentiment. You have also attemped, unconvincingly in my opinion, to refute these commentators views.

    Now you appear to be suggesting that the government will proceed with the project, pay the money and will not get the Metro delivered. Given that the project is a public-private partnership, the government is not bound to pay anything until the project is delivered (even then it’s cost is paid in 25 yearly installments). So unless we’re on the brink of an apocalypse or an unforeseen natural disaster, the government will have the Metro delivered and then begin paying for it.

    I do not work for the government and have no links with the metro project other than it is being built in the city I live in.

    Given that you appear keen to spread misinformation, fear, uncertainty and doubt about the metro project, my guess is that you have a personal financial interest in stopping this vital piece of infrastructure from going ahead. Are you the managing director of a bus manufacturer by any chance? or Dublin Bus?

    jbwan quote:
    “You have already said that Dublin has at most one third of the tax base for the country”

    More misinformation by you, I said “They pay well over a third of the tax take of the state and deserve a reasonably good public transport system.”

    Many of the high income professional jobs in Ireland are in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, so they would pay more taxes than the rest of the country.

    Here is an income map of Ireland (100=Average Income)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Ireland_income_distribution_chart.gif

    Your argument about most people not using the line is fallacious. Commuters in Dublin tend to use only one or two of the rail transport lines to get to work, not all of them. Yet if you remove any one of them you will have a lot of angry people on your hands.

    This is about creating a comprehensive rail transport system for the entire Dublin area. The last three parts are the two metro lines and the DART interconnector. We shouldn’t be stopping at the last hurdle with a bunch of disconnected systems when completing these projects will connect the system together and make it far easier to get around Dublin.

    Transport problems exist in Dublin, you just want to shelve the solutions to these problems.

    No one particular capital investment project will “give something back to the vast majority of Irish citizens/inhabitants”

  28. @John

    Well you’ve finally put your cards on the table now John and shown your true colours. I especially love the part where you say that Dublin people earn more and therefore deserve better than the rest of the country – really classy!

    Quite frankly I cannot stomach much more of your, it suits me so to hell with the rest of the country, claptrap but first a few corrections to the things you have said.

    Firstly, the very first poster on this article agreed with me. Since then there has only been 3 others. One, an ex-classmate of mine who now resides in the US for many years and then both yourself and Niall who are both Dublin resident and hardly surprising that the opinions expressed would be in favour of the project because of that association. So going on those stats it’s 3 vs 2 in favour of the metro – hardly a massive victory; not to mention the 20-odd people who joined the Facebook group in favour of aborting the project, from just reading my low readership blog.

    Secondly, I never said that the country wouldn’t get a metro. That’s a blatant lie because it’s very clear for everyone to see in the above text that I said it was a very bad use of tax payers’ money that would not give a quality return on investment to the vast majority of tax payers.

    Thirdly, there is no difference between saying one third of the tax base and one third of the tax take. This is the same as tax base is not the number of people but rather the revenue generated from the citizens of the entire country.

    Fourthly, the Luas was completely different from the metro as the skillset is far greater than what is effectively repairing a section of the existing Iarnród Eireann rail line. Tunneling is a massive undertaking, especially when you are talking about huge distances underground.

    Fifthly, I never said that any one capital investment would give back something to everyone but what I DID SAY was that this metro is a white elephant of an investment that certainly won’t serve the mast majority of Irish residents. That’s an indisputable FACT!

    In sixth place we have your ill-informed rhetoric about the jobs provided by such a project. The reason that I didn’t give information about irrelevant past projects was not only because they were irrelevant but because I kind of hoped that you’d do a little research before spreading your own lies and misinformation – something that I have never done and I resent your accusation of such. Just to inform you a little, since you are so interested:

    1) The Jack Lynch Tunnel was designed by an English architect and constructed by a UK construction company.
    2) The Dublin Port Tunnel was mainly constructed by a UK construction company with Irish and Japanese offices and had site surveys and geological work carried out by a US engineering company.
    3) The Luas is operated by a French multinational and was constructed by a joint venture between Italian and Australian contractors.
    4) The same is true of any significant Irish civil engineering project – we don’t have the skills here nor the government support for local industry.

    In seventh place, solving Dublin’s unfortunate traffic problems. Sure wasn’t the Luas the be all and end all to that issue – hailed as the saviour of Dublin? Over a billion Euros later and still traffic chaos and a number of collisions with existing traffic because it gets in the way or people get in the way of it. Then sure there was the Dublin Port Tunnel, again the second coming of Christ with respect to solving Dublin’s traffic problems. Nearly a billion Euros later and guess what, Dublin still has traffic chaos! The only way to solve this chaos is what I have been saying all along, decrease the number of people dependent on such a small geographical area and federate the investment to other parts of the country that can grow at a much better rate and maximise the return on investment to Ireland as a country and not just a capital city.

    In eight place, my comment about the metro link not being used by a large number of Dublin central residents is again not fallacious. It is a FACT that many people live in Dublin central and have no need for this metro for daily commuting. It is a FACT that this metro line does not touch every Dublin residential area. It is a FACT that many people are better and more easily served by bus routes that do not traverse the city but still get to where they need to be. You cannot argue with the FACTS.

    Finally, as for me being personally interested in this project not going ahead. You’re dead right; not because I own a bus company nor any other transport options but simply because I am an Irish citizen who actually gives a damn about the future of this country and not just what happens in my own backyard. I can see the billions of Euro of wreckless spending that goes on every year in this country and never do we get any better. Fifteen years of mismanaging a massive boom period, spending billions on white elephants that were supposed panaceas to all Dublin’s problems, still spending money on vanity bridges at a cost of at least EUR 15 million in a time of recession and many other things that do nothing to increase foreign investment, encourage entrepreneurial activity, nor simply just create jobs for our future generations and here we are – the black sheep of the EU. Cited by Nobel prize winning economists as a disaster zone and you still seem to believe that the governing forces of this country know what to do with our money and our planning strategy? I spread no lies, no misinformation and I never misquote nor intentionally mislead people to read something that is not a fact. Your attitude on the other hand typifies why Ireland is in a hole at the moment, turn the other cheek, don’t cut our losses, there can’t possibly be another solution other than investing in Dublin’s traffic problems, Dublin people earn more and deserve more, the rest of the country – where was that again? I live for a day that will see Ireland as a truly successful nation, one where my kids can have a choice of what part of the country they want to live in because jobs will be available – one where they won’t have to pay 700k for a 3-bed shack in Dundrum because land is so scarce. We have already lost a great deal of money, if this project proceeds, yes we will get a metro but no, it will not make any difference to the country. Dublin will still have traffic chaos, there will be no more land to develop in Dublin central for businesses to move in, the majority of the rest of the country will still be ignored on infrastructure, education, and societal needs making it a no-go area for any outside investor. If that’s the Ireland you want then I hope they build the first metro station in your back garden so you can use it every day.

  29. For the record I’m not a Dub nor am I resident in Dublin, “misinformation” on your part. I will not even have a use for the metro when it is developed.

    It’s hardly fair to compare developing two LUAS lines to repairing a section of the existing Iarnród Eireann rail line.

    Just because it won’t serve the entire nation doesn’t mean it should be scrapped, it is needed for a sustainable Dublin which is needed to serve the entire nation.

    It will provide 1000’s of jobs to the irish economy. The skills from more expierienced nations may be needed at the top end but we as a nation will never be able to provide a metro otherwise.

    The LUAS might not have solved the traffic chaos but it has been an undoubted success. It was built to serve commuters and to be part of an intgrated rail system. METRO will not solve our traffic problms either but it will be a sccuess. Swords’ population is going to grow to 100,000 residents, The airport will grow from 20million passengers to 35m passengers. How will these people get from one end of the city to the other with realitve ease? The answer is an integrated rail network. People in Dublin are limited in where they work, socialise because there is an inadequate transport network. METRO is part of an integrated network.

    Dublin suffers from traffic congestion as a result of awful town planning in the past, Developers were let build where ever thet wanted without having proper infrastructure in place to serve the new towns. The Metro should have been built in the 90’s but better late than never.

  30. For the record I’m not a Dub nor am I resident in Dublin, “misinformation” on your part. I will not even have a use for the metro when it is developed.

    It’s hardly fair to compare developing two LUAS lines to repairing a section of the existing Iarnród Eireann rail line.

    Just because it won’t serve the entire nation doesn’t mean it should be scrapped, it is needed for a sustainable Dublin which is needed to serve the entire nation.

    It will provide 1000’s of jobs to the irish economy. The skills from more expierienced nations may be needed at the top end but we as a nation will never be able to provide a metro otherwise.

    The LUAS might not have solved the traffic chaos but it has been an undoubted success. It was built to serve commuters and to be part of an intgrated rail system. METRO will not solve our traffic problms either but it will be a sccuess. Swords’ population is going to grow to 100,000 residents, The airport will grow from 20million passengers to 35m passengers. How will these people get from one end of the city to the other with realitve ease? The answer is an integrated rail network. People in Dublin are limited in where they work, socialise because there is an inadequate transport network. METRO is part of an integrated network.

    Dublin suffers from traffic congestion as a result of awful town planning in the past, Developers were let build where ever thet wanted without having proper infrastructure in place to serve the new towns. The Metro should have been built in the 90’s but better late than never.

  31. @Niall

    Niall wrote: “For the record I’m not a Dub nor am I resident in Dublin, “misinformation” on your part.”

    Apologies Niall, I just assumed that somebody posting on the personal experience of daily commuting times in Dublin and who was intimately aware of the population problems in Swords and who initially posted on my blog from a Dublin Institute of Technology registered IP address had potentially been living in Dublin. Again I posted on what I saw as facts in front of me but the truth appears to be that you were at least in DIT when you initially commented.

    As for the rest of your post, we’re going round in circles now. I refer you back to my last comment and also remind you that you keep talking about the problems with population growth in Swords, etc and how this is entirely related to just a volume of people issue and how I said, repetitively, that the best solution is not to temporarily treat the symptom but to give people a reason to live elsewhere, create jobs in other parts of the country and perhaps envisage a future where Swords won’t have to accommodate X number of people above its current standing. That’s a much better future in my opinion. Dublin is successful, is developed and is now overflowing; it’s time to develop the rest of the country and reap a much better return on investment for the tax payers.

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