THE Metro to Dublin Airport can be bankrolled by private cash and is still on track, the project's director claimed yesterday.
Despite the restraints on finances, the Metro is still economically viable, he said.
Rob Leech, Metro North project manager, told an Engineers Ireland seminar that high-quality integrated public transport was a key feature of the most successful cities worldwide. He said there had been "some extraordinary claims that it would cost €5bn to build Metro North".
"Even at the height of the boom it would have cost far less than that," he added.
At a time of falling construction costs they expected to get unprecedented value.
Metro North was being developed under a public private partnership arrangement. This means the private sector initially funds the majority of the costs.
The State contributes in two ways -- a part contribution to the construction cost and later annual payments, spread over a long period of time, payable only when the metro is running.
John Power, Engineers Ireland director general, predicted Metro North had the potential to create 4,000 direct jobs and a further 2,000 indirect jobs.