A SHORTLIST of international consortia has been drawn up to design, build and operate the proposed €5bn Metro from Dublin city centre to the airport.
The list of bidders, selected by the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA), includes some of the leading operators of Metro systems abroad.
It includes Veolia, which already operates the Luas.
Shortlisted consortia has until November 2 to compete for one infrastructure provider, one to supply the Metro carriages and one to operate the system.
It is intended that the Railway Order application process will commence in early 2008.
The pre-application consultation process with an An Bord Pleanala has commenced and the public consultation process is ongoing.
However, it is expected that the Metro will not be operational until 2016.
As well as Metro North, the RPA is planning the Metro West, a 25km line linking Tallaght with Ballymun and a number of Luas lines, serving Citywest, Docklands and Cherrywood/Shanganagh.