Luas the new tram system for Dublin brings passengers on a test run.
The first Luas trams on the green line will not open until summer 2004. Today marks the first running of the tram on a completed section of the line with passengers in tow.
Minister for Transport Seamus Brennan will now be monitoring the project and every other transport project on a month to month basis as costs for the Luas have spiralled and targets have not been met. Costs are also an issue facing the proposed Dublin Airport metro service and Minister Brennan is determined to find a more cost-effective way of providing the service.
Padraic White, Chairman of the Railway Procurement Agency, claims that the costs are within the authorised budget for the project.
Most of the reports that I have seen about soaring costs are inaccurate.
The hope is that the provision of the new Luas service will attract people away from the cars and on to public transport in an effort to ease the city's transport problems.
It is estimated that the trams will take up to four thousand people every hour in either direction.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 March 2003. The reporter is Ray Kennedy.