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Video: The Luas Cross City is fully operational for the first time

Come on board with us.

received_10156098087966522 For the day that's in it Source: Andrew Roberts/TheJournal.ie

Updated 3.35pm 

THE LUAS CROSS City is fully operational for the first time, carrying passengers right across the city from north to south.

The Green and Red Luas lines are now connected, and people are able to travel the 5.9km from Broombridge in Cabra to St Stephen’s Green in about 21 minutes.

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There are 13 new stops, with eight of these in the city centre area. Work on the project commenced in 2013 and has cost €368 million.

TheJournal.ie was on board for the first journey. The new service opened to the public at 2pm.

Speaking about the commencement of the extended service, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Today is a significant milestone in the creation of a high quality integrated public transport network in our capital city. We expect the Luas Cross City will encourage more people to use public transport, as well as alleviating congestion and reducing our carbon footprint.

“Luas Cross City doesn’t just link the existing lines, it is also an extension to serve the north inner city and will regenerate the neighbourhoods through which it will pass. It will terminate at Broombridge on the Maynooth rail line thus allowing commuters from north Kildare and west Dublin to connect to Luas by train.”

9/12/2017 New Luas Green Line Extension Openings Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at today's launch Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Varadkar gave the go-ahead to the project in 2013 when he was Minister for Transport. At a media briefing ahead of today’s launch, he said:

Today’s gathering, for me, finally answers a riddle that I’ve been grappling with for some time, ‘How many Ministers of Transport does it take to link the Luas?’ It appears it takes two and we’re all here today.

Transport Minister Shane Ross described today as a “historic day for Dublin”, saying the project will “facilitate interchange between Luas, bus, rail and taxi”.

“I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have been involved in contributing to Luas Cross City, for your hard work and cooperation and for making it possible for this project to come in on time and within budget,” Ross said.

ribbon Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Transport Minister Shane Ross unveiling the new service today Source: Andrew Roberts/TheJournal.ie

Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha also welcomed the development, saying: “Today is a great day for public transport in Dublin. I believe this will be transformative, making commuting easier for workers and helping to lift businesses and services on and near the Luas route.”

Mac Donncha thanked Dublin City Council and all others involved in finalising the project.

“The construction has been disruptive for many but I believe it will have been worth the wait. The key to traffic problems in our city is more and better public transport, including trams, buses and trains,” he said.

Video: Andrew Roberts 

Read: The Luas Cross City starts today – but there are concerns for Dublin’s cyclists

Read: Crowded commutes? Trams on the Luas Green Line are set to get a lot bigger

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