The new project is expected to be up and running in three to four years, pending approval from the National Transport Association.
The line is proposed to run from St. Vincents University Hospital on Nutley Lane, to the Sandyford Business Estate via UCD. Services are expected to be as frequent as every six minutes, on average.
At the moment, DART and Luas services to do not directly service UCD. The closest DART station to UCD in Sydney Parade, approximately twenty minutes walk away and the closest Luas stop is Windy Arbour, which is approximately the same distance from campus.
In relation to the proposal, Dún Laghaoire-Rathdown County Council said: “It will offer a high quality, high-frequency, high-capacity public transport service featuring all the benefits of a fixed-rail tram system with the flexibility of being able to drive on the road. It will ensure safe, quick and dependable journey times, therefore improving connectivity and reducing dependence on private car travel in Southeast Dublin.”
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Manager, Owen Keegan stated on the matter: “Blue Line is a very exciting development in public transport in Dublin. A detailed assessment of the project shows that it can be built for around €33m and that it offers excellent value for money. This makes it a very appropriate public investment in the current difficult economic climate.”
Mr Keegan also expressed his belief that the project should be completed within three to four years, on the basis that it offers a cheap and cost-effective transport service when compared to other proposed city services: “There is a lot of talk now as to whether Metro North will go ahead, or Metro West, but this is a low-cost project, relatively low-cost when compared with a number of the competing projects in that strategy.”
Regarding the issue of whether the project would have a direct impact on the students and staff of UCD, Mr Keegan said: “I think it would certainly represent a major improvement in terms of making UCD accessible to public transport. I mean UCD, while it is on a QVC corridor, it’s a bit of a distance away from two major public transport services, namely the DART and the Luas green line.”
I suspect that if it was more accessible to those two, it would certainly make public transport a much more attractive option for a significant number of people, students and indeed people working in Belfield.”