29 Nov 2006

Last week the government announced that, as part of its Transport 21 plan, a new Metro (which, from what I can understand, actually runs for the most part over ground) will be built along a line which more or less follows the M50. I’m not sure exactly where all the stops will be located, but it could be a boon for those of us who live outside Dublin: on our annual Christmas shopping visits to the capitol, we’ll be able to park our cars in one of several large parks and take the metro to all our favourite shopping malls and retail outlets. (Unfortunately, we won’t be able to visit the Medieval-walled-shopping-fortress of Dundrum as the new line won’t run that far south.)  

For Dubliners themselves, I just can’t see the value of this proposal. Unless the city planners, the DTA and whoever else has jurisdiction over these matters comes up with an underground system which allows a working person living in Clonskeagh or Clontarf to arrive at their their Baggot Street office within ten minutes of leaving the house, travel to a mid morning meeting in Phibsboro, meet a friend for lunch at the top of O’Connell Street, attend another meeting in the Docklands and get back to their office by four to catch up on their emails, then I don’t see the point in talking about public transport at all.  

If I travel to Dublin on business by car, I expect to attend one meeting during the day. If I’m lucky, two. On the other hand, if take the early flight to London, I expect to jump on the underground and attend meetings in four different locations before taking the evening flight back to Shannon. I also feel less tired and less stressed than if I’d spent the day trying to get from Thomas Street to Donnybrook.

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