The Government of Ireland has allocated €3.51bn to the Department of Transport (DOT) in the budget for the next year, including €1.9bn for greener and cleaner transport.

The funding will be used for crucial infrastructural projects such as Metrolink, DART+, BusConnects and the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme, as well as the purchase of 41 new railcars and more than 20 new buses.

The Irish DOT will acquire 41 new intercity railcars to improve peak capacity across intercity services nationally by 34%.

Funding will be allocated for the construction of the new DART station at Woodbrook on the Southeastern line.

It will also be used to help protect and renew the heavy rail network in a ‘steady state’ condition, in addition to enhancing journey safety, comfort and reliability for passengers.

The DOT will also use the funds to continue the fit-out of the National Train Control Centre, as well as the re-commissioning works at Kishogue station.

Furthermore, the funding will allow MetroLink to advance to phase four of the statutory process with a client partner.

As part of regional development, the DOT will build phase one of the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme. A rail order will be required for double tracking of the line between Midleton and Glounthaune.

The department will finalise the emerging preferred route for the Cork Light Rail Transit and conduct the first round of public consultation on the proposals.

Furthermore, it will continue the redevelopment of the Ceannt and Oranmore stations in Galway.

Ireland Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “Retaining the 20% discount on public transport fares was a key priority for me because it provides immediate and everyday savings to hard-pressed commuters and citizens.

“The expansion of the Youth Leap Card also means that public transport will now be cheaper for more young people.”