Dublin is set to get a metro line costing £4.3 billion the biggest public transport project in the history of the state.

The government has given the go-ahead for a £4.3 billion metro rail line for Dublin. The project will be funded on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

The metro will consist of 70 kilometres of track taking in many of the city's suburbs connecting Swords, Dublin Airport, Tallaght, Blanchardstown and Bray. It is likely that 14 kilometres will be underground or tunnelled.

Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke is adamant the metro will complement, not supersede the Luas system, which is proceeding as planned. An integrated ticketing system is to be implemented.

Which will mean you can get a ticket on a bus, move on to Luas get back onto a train, all of the ways of travelling, which other cities take for granted that you can do, we're just on the brink of that here in Dublin.

According to those behind the project, the metro system will provide a 23 minute journey time between the city centre and Dublin airport. Once operational all city commuters will be within one minute's walk of a rail or bus line.

Chairman of the Dublin Transportation Office Conor McCarthy says in hindsight, the development and integration of the city's transport infrastructure to such an extent should have started in 1990. However, they could never have foreseen the extent of economic growth in the country and the corresponding increase in the workforce, particularly in Dublin.

We’re responding to the situation that we now find ourselves in, and we’re looking forward and taking projections of the ERSI and the strategic planning guidelines of the development of Dublin.

At full capacity, the metro will make 130,000 journeys a day and will take a huge strain off the city's traffic congested streets. However commuters should not abandon their cars just yet, the metro is not expected to be completed until 2016 at the earliest. In the meantime, the construction will cause disruption.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 July 2000. The reporter is Annette O Donnell.