The Transport for Ireland website provides general information on how people with disabilities can travel safely to, from and within Ireland. Links to other websites, which provide more detailed information, are also provided.
Accessible travel is an on-going endeavour to ensure all operators provide safe, accessible and friendly access to all its passengers, regardless of their age or various disabilities. It is now possible to map out your journey before you depart. The TFI Journey Planner is Ireland’s only door-to-door route planner and the service also highlights if the mode of transport is wheelchair accessible.
The Minister for Transport has responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The Minister’s policy in relation to public transport, including accessible public transport, can be viewed on the Department of Transport
European Regulation 1177/2010 on the Rights of Passengers Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterways, came into effect on 18 December 2012.
The Regulation applies to vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers and operated by a European Union Carrier. It includes points on non-discrimination and assistance for people with disabilities and reduced mobility. This includes an obligation to:
Statutory Instrument No. 394 of 2012 designates the National Transport Authority as the national enforcement body for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 in Ireland.
Ferry companies operating to and from Ireland use ships that are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. If you need help with getting on or off you should give the ferry company as much notice as possible so that they can make arrangements.
A number of private vessel operators provide public transport and tourist services in Ireland but not all of these services are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. You can get more information by clicking on the following links:
Passenger boats (12 passengers or less) or ships (more than 12 passengers) in Ireland are required to hold a current valid licence or certificate issued by the Marine Survey Office of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
For more information please see the NTA website.
Under European legislation (Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006), disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should not be refused carriage by air on the grounds of their disability or lack of mobility, except for reasons that are justified on the grounds of safety and are prescribed by law.
Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility are entitled to receive the assistance specified in the Regulation free of charge at the airport as well as on board aircraft.
In Ireland the Commission for Aviation Regulation is the National Enforcement Body for the Regulation. The Commission has launched a website called Flightrights that includes details for disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.
When booking flights, disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should give airlines at least 48 hours notice of their particular needs to enable the airlines and airports to make the necessary arrangements.
Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations gives disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the following rights:
In Ireland the National Transport Authority is the National Enforcement Body for the Regulation.
Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail operates city and commuter services in Dublin and Cork, as well as intercity services throughout Ireland.
You can call Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail on (01) 8366 222 (Monday – Friday 08:30hrs – 18:00hrs excluding public holidays) or contact your local station if you require assistance on Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail services. More information is available on the Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail website.
Each tram makes audio announcements and has electronic displays so you can tell where you are on your journey.
All Luas trams and stops are wheelchair-accessible and there are designated parking spaces for people with disabilities. There are lifts at any stops that have been built in a cutting or on an elevated track.
To facilitate access, each tram has a low floor and level threshold with a minimal gap between the floor of the tram and the edge of the platform.
There are two designated spaces per tram, which can cater for up to 4 wheelchair users. There are signs indicating that these spaces are for wheelchair users. There is also enough space in the entry and exit areas on the trams for additional wheelchair users.
European Regulation 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport came into effect on 1st March 2013. It includes points on non-discrimination and assistance for people with disabilities and reduced mobility.
Public transport bus services in Ireland are provided by both State-owned and private transport operators.
Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland provides bus services within Dublin city as well as to and from the surrounding areas. Bus Éireann operates intercity coach services together with commuter services in the cities of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway. It also provides services on a network of routes throughout Ireland as well as commuter services in some large towns. TFI Local Link provides local public transport in rural areas throughout Ireland were other services are limited. These bus services are low cost and available for anyone wishing to travel to or from their local town, village or parish.
All four are obliged to provide services to people with disabilities.
A number of private operators also provide public transport bus services in Ireland but not all of these services are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. You can get more information by clicking on the following links:
TFI Local Link provides a nationwide bus service in rural areas around Ireland.
The aim of TFI Local Link is to address rural social exclusion and integrate bus services where possible with Bus Éireann and Iarnrod Éireann networks.
TFI Local Link’s key objective, as outlined in their Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022, is to ensure the provision of fully accessible transport services on all services with a target to achieve at least 95%fully accessible trips by 2020 within the Rural Transport Programme.
As of 2019, 80% of all TFI Local Link buses are fully accessible.
The following companies provide accessible transport Dial-a-Ride services for people with disabilities together with ageing and older people with mobility impairments, who are unable to access public transport because of the severity or nature of their impairments:
For more information please see the NTA website.
There are two types – Taxis and Hackneys.
Taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis are public hire vehicles. Their licence and licensing requirements allow them to stand for hire at a rank (taxi ranks at airports, train and bus stations) and they can also be hailed on the street. The vehicle is equipped with a taximeter to ensure the maximum fare charged is within regulations. Fares less than the metered value are of course possible.
Hackneys and wheelchair accessible hackneys are different in that they are private hire vehicles. They do not have taximeters and the key difference is that the journey must be pre-booked, i.e. fare and trip agreed in advance, hence no need for the taximeter. They cannot stand for hire at a rank anywhere nor ply for hire, i.e. they cannot take fares from the public on the street.
The National Transport Authority has created a register of all Wheelchair Accessible Taxis throughout the country. This is to enable improved access to this specialised service for people with disabilities.
You can call the Information Line on 0818 064 000 and request contact information for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle service that operates within your area. If you are calling from outside Ireland please phone + 353 761 064000.
You can also e-mail the Authority at email@example.com
TFI has partnered with Invisible Disability Ireland to launch the “Please Offer Me a Seat” Badge and Card for people with invisible disabilities to use when accessing public transport. It ensures that people with hidden disabilities have a seat in priority areas on public transport.
The Jam Card assists customers using the public transport system and makes their experience as stress-free as possible. It allows people with a communication barrier tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily.
Aimed at expectant mothers, this ‘Baby on Board’ badge offers women a discreet, convenient and universal means of communicating the message that they may be in greater need of a seat during their commute.
The Travel Assistance Scheme aim’s to help passengers use public transport on their own, especially those with disabilities and reduced mobility. A travel assistant can accompany you the first few times you travel and offer helpful advice on how to plan your journey is open to all over the age of eighteen.
The Travel Assistance Scheme within the Greater Dublin Area is run by Dublin Bus and provides assistance on Dublin Bus, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland and DART services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for further information on how to use the scheme.
The Travel Assistance Scheme opens in Cork on September 1 and is run by Bus Éireann. It provides assistance on Bus Éireann, Irish Rail Cork Commuter and Local Link services within Cork.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone customer services at 0818 836 611.
The Free Travel Pass allows holders to travel free of charge on all public transport services and many private commercial services. Please note that this cannot be used for free travel in Northern Ireland without first obtaining a Senior SmartPass card.
People are entitled to avail of this scheme if they are over 66 years old and living permanently in Ireland, or they receive Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Carers Allowance or Invalidity Pension.
The Free Travel Scheme is administered by the Department of the Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and all queries about the scheme should be directed to the Department by emailing email@example.com or calling 071 915 7100.
Guide dogs and assistance dogs accompanying passengers are permitted to travel on all public transport services across the TFI network free of charge and without restriction.
A Guide or Assistance dog must be clearly identifiable either by coat or harness to distinguish it as a working dog and not a pet. The dog must be trained by a recognised organisation as a Guide dog or Assistance dog.
The links to the Transport Operators websites provide more detailed information.
Hopefully you will have a trouble free time travelling to, from or within Ireland.
If you do have any problems you should contact the transport operator directly. If you are not happy with the result of your complaint, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman.