Indeed PVC King - while I strongly disagree with your pronouncements regarding finance and the markets, from what I can see, I think we would probably would find ourselves largely in agreement regarding the development of public transport in Dublin.
I believe ZÃ¼rich offers a great model for public transport system and provides some extremely relevant lessons from which Dublin could learn. I've been meaning to write something about this subject for quite a while; doing so in a dedicated transport forum would probably make more sense but I may as well make a start here - I may re-use some of this in a post to such a forum.
It's a complex system with at least the following modes: inter-city and commuter heavy rail, trams, trolley-buses, buses, cog-railways, river/lake boats and even a cable car. These are operated by a whole bunch of different operators - mostly private but also some owned by the city - but are all branded under ZVV and a single ticketing system operates. Ticketing is very simple - you either buy a single journey ticket which covers the entire city zone (which includes many of the closer suburbs) or a day pass which offers unlimited travel for 24 hours. All the modes are barrier-less - you just walk-on - leading to great efficiencies in terms of people movement and simple station/stop design but obviously requiring active enforcement.
The "heavy lifting" in terms of moving huge numbers of passengers longer distances (5km or more) is done by electrified heavy rail (the S trains) - effectively the equivalent of Dublin's DART. There are some odd parallels in how this system developed; it started as a single lake-side commuter line running on existing rail tracks through what is known as the "gold coast" back in 1970. More commuter lines got added using existing heavy rail infrastructure but the system was always hampered by the the river/lake which divides the city until the completion in 1990 of an "inter-connector" tunnel which goes underground on the approach to the main station, travels under it (with underground stops), crosses under the river and links with existing heavy rail lines on the other side of the city. This opened the system up and there are now 10 or 20 "DART" lines (including one to the Airport) although not all are very frequent and there is much track sharing. They are now building a second heavy rail inter-connector. These trains include up to 12 double-decker cars - so you can imagine the carrying capacity of these. They are also quite fast - reaching speeds of 100km and sometimes more.
Complementing this high-capacity/high speed backbone, is the dense network of tram lines in the city itself. There are three major tram interchanges roughly forming a "triangle" across the city centre. The trams are all on-street, traveling through dense areas; some lines extend into the "suburbs" - but by suburb we are talking about areas with at least 3/4 story apartment blocks. To get back to the point of this thread: NONE go through areas of single family houses (and Zurich does have some sprawl). The trams are very frequent - averaging I would guess 4-10 minute frequencies depending on the time of day. Every tram line, if it travels anywhere near an S train station will have a stop at the station. There are lots of tram stops - I would guess about every 400m. People hop-on and off trams all the time even for very short journeys (for example the equivalent of traveling the length of O'Connell street). You rarely use a tram to travel long distances (greater than 3/4km).
Next in the hierarchy are trolley-buses (articulated "bendy" buses powered by overhead wires - sometimes sharing tram routes but often not). These generally offer axial routes that complement the somewhat radial nature of the tram routes. Obviously the capacity is less again than a tram.
Then you have buses - these generally service low density routes and the outer "village like" suburbs although some seem to effectively be proto-tram lines. As pointed out above, the big/dense suburbs/outer towns are served by S-lines (DARTS).
In addition you have the oddities: a couple of cog railways (more like a glorified lift but running at an angle - very low capacity), at least one cable car that I have used, a small gauge railway that goes up into one of the surrounding hills, and lake/river boats (which only run for half the year and are more popular with tourists than commuters).
My typical commute in the morning is: trolley-bus (if I am feeling very lazy) to the tram stop, a tram to the main station and the S21 (DART like) to where I work. All the modes are connected and like I said barrier-less and because monthly or yearly passes are very popular and great value so this type of journey is completely painless. Again to try to make this in someway relevant to the topic, absolutely nobody expects a dedicated tram line to be built from their front door to where they work; multi-modal travel is the norm.
Here is a selection of other random interesting aspects of the development of public transport in ZÃ¼rich which have strange parallels with Dublin. Despite having a great tram system at the start of the 20th century, it was known as terrible city for public transport up to 30/40 years ago as they attempted to accommodate the private car as a mode for getting around the city; thankfully this futile effort was abandoned before causing too much damage but you can still notice some of the results (thankfully quite a bit away from the core of the city) like a motorway running on stilts over one of the rivers (reminiscent of the plan to build motorway over the canals in Dublin) and some unpleasant underpasses and the like. Regarding the metro debate in Dublin: in ZÃ¼rich they held referendum in the 1980s on whether to raise taxes either to build a 2 line metro system or to build their inter-connector and overhaul/expand the tram system. The latter was chosen as it was much better value (the metro option would have resulted in an extra 2% income tax levy for 20 years or something like that) - there is nothing like having to pay for something to focus the mind on what offers the best value. However Switzerland is hardly a country - more like a collection of independent city states so they are used to locals paying for local infrastructure.
In conclusion, ZÃ¼rich started as car choked city in 1970 much as Dublin did in 1985 with its first commuter electrified rail line. 20 years later they finished their inter-connector and expanded the tram system. Then they rolled out a single ticketing brand for the whole system. Now it has a world class system. There is no reason why Dublin couldn't do the same - it isn't rocket science. This makes me feel optimistic. But then I read about this Luas line F bullshit (and unfortunately most of the RPA's recent proposals) and I feel very pessimistic. This is NOT the way to spend money developing a public transport system.