Charlemont in Dublin 2 was chosen as the terminus for the proposed Metrolink line in order to enable passengers to seamlessly connect to the Luas green line, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has said.
The proposals to extend the mooted metro line to Charlemont have been criticised by around 40 south Dublin residents’ associations, who have called for the line to terminate at a city centre location such as St Stephen’s Green.
Speaking at a meeting of the Oireachtas transport committee on Wednesday, NTA chief executive Anne Graham said the Metrolink could not terminate at St Stephen's Green as it would be disruptive to commuters who were seeking to use the Luas to continue their journey.
“It’s on the east side of Stephen’s Green, that’s where the metro station is proposed to be, rather than the current west side where the green line operates currently,” she said.
“I think we can all agree the metro should be connected to the green line because we want to avoid the problems that there were about lines not being connected.”
NTA deputy chief executive Hugh Creegan said terminating at St Stephen's Green would create a 500m walk to the Luas due to the route's alignment, which ensured there was a "critical" connection at Tara Street train station.
Charlemont was chosen for the terminus as it provides more options for future planning, he added.
"The termination at Charlemont allows three things to happen. One is to connect onto the green line in the future, at a point that may be required; or to extend it out to the southwest of Dublin to Rathfarnham, Terenue, Tallaght, Knocklyon direction; or, indeed, it's capable of going to the southeast of Dublin and UCD if required. They're decisions that can be made in the future."
The NTA last year decided to shelve the southern leg of the Metrolink route, terminate the line at Charlemont and investigate future options for the southside. It said last November that any southside rail connection would not be built until after 2042, and would likely be a Luas rather than a metro line.
Planning permission would be sought this year for the Metrolink from Swords to Charlemont, it said. Construction work has begun on the site at a cost of around €12.5 million.
The committee was discussing the proposed greater Dublin transport plan, which was published by the NTA last November.
Speaking at a later session of the committee, Ray Coyne, chief executive of Dublin Bus, said a number of measures could be put in place to increase use of urban bus transport.
Some of the proposed measures include increasing the number of 24 hour bus services as well as protecting and increasing the designation of bus lanes from time-specific to 24 hours.
“These are some of the short-term measures that could be used to encourage and increase public transport usage,” he said. “If we do not take these steps, we will inevitably see congestion worsen, will see commute times get longer and will see emissions rise in line with population growth.”