Dart extension plan to take in Maynooth and north Dublin
An expansion of the current Dart rail network will be included in the Government's €3.6bn investment in major public transport projects.
Rail extensions are being planned to Balbriggan in north Dublin and Maynooth in the southwest, with the hope that the projects will be completed by 2022.
In total, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will allocate €9.56bn for the country's roads and public transport networks.
Of the €3.6bn set aside for public transport, approximately €2.4bn will be spent on the Metro North project, leaving €1.2bn for initiatives including the Dart extension, the completion of Luas Cross City and the upgrading of quality bus corridors.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe stated that initial phases of the Dart expansion would begin, and that it was part of the Government's plan to deliver a "well-functioning" transport system that facilitates a "growing economy".
"By planning now for the years ahead we will ensure that the services we deliver can adequately meet our needs so that continued future economic growth is supported'.
"The first phase of a multi-phase Dart expansion programme will begin, with the extension of the Dart line to Balbriggan," the minister said.
"The design and planning for the further phases, which include expansion of Dart services to Maynooth in the west and Hazelhatch in the southwest, will be progressed," he added.
The extension of the Dart service to Balbriggan has been in the pipeline for some time, with the project previously shelved in 2010 as part of the Government's National Recovery Plan.
Approximately €42bn has been set aside by the Government for its capital spending programme.