Travelling in Ireland – by Bus

European Regulation 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport came into effect on 1st March 2013. This Regulation provides among other things for:
a) Compensation for delayed or cancelled services;
b) Information provision before and during a journey;
c) The needs of people with disabilities or reduced mobility; and
d) Staff training.

Public transport bus services in Ireland are provided by both State-owned and private transport operators. Accessible transport Dial-a-Ride services for people with disabilities together with ageing and older people are provided byspecialised Accessible Transport Operators.

State Bus Companies

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann (Irish Bus) are the State bus companies. Dublin Bus 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.

Both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are obliged to provide services to people with disabilities. You can read more aboutservices for people with mobility difficulties provided by Dublin Bus and services for people with mobility difficulties provided by Bus Éireann by clicking on the links.

Other Bus Companies

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:

Rural Transport Programme (RTP)

Local Link is a development of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which was launched in 2007 to build on the success of its predecessor, the Rural Transport Initiative (RTI). The RTI was established as a pilot project in 2002 to address issues of unmet transport needs from a social inclusion and community-based perspective. The RTI and RTP specifically focused on responding to rural isolation and enhancing the mobility, accessibility and community participation of local people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. In 2013, 224,158 vehicle trips were provided under the programme while 1.74million passenger journeys were taken.

There will be 18 Local Link Offices nationwide. These offices will manage approximately 1,000 Public Bus Services in local and rural areas of Ireland. Local Link Offices open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Local Link provides a combination of scheduled Public Transport services and door-to-door services. Door to door services should be pre-booked with the Local Link office closest to the service you wish to use. Details of Local Link Services are available through the National Journey Planner. Alternatively, more detailed information on the range of services in your area can be obtained by contacting your Local Link office which will be happy to pre-book a seat if required.

Concessionary Travel

If you have a concessionary fare pass from another administration, it will not work here. The only exception is the all-ireland free travel scheme for people over 65 who live in Northern Ireland. Free travel on State bus services and on Rural Transport Programme services is available to everyone permanently living in Ireland that is aged 66 and over. Certain people under that age are also entitled to free travel. In some cases, a free companion pass may be available to allow a person to accompany the free travel pass holder. If you qualify for free travel, you will be issued with a pass that you must carry with you when using public transport. Free travel passes are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person.

Free travel is also available on a limited number of services operated by private bus transport companies that have opted in to the Free Travel Scheme of the Department of Social Protection. More information about Free Travel.

Special offers and concessionary fares may also be available from the bus companies subject to specific terms and conditions.

 Assistance Dogs, Working Guide Dogs and Pets

Guide dogs accompanying passengers who hold a Registered Blind Person’s Pass are carried free of charge on Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services.

Animals other than guide dogs are carried on Dublin bus services at the discretion of the driver. According to the by-laws governing Dublin Bus, you cannot bring an animal onto the bus if an authorised person (i.e., driver or inspector) asks you not to do so. No other animals will be carried on Bus Éireann services, under any circumstances.

Private transport operators may have their own rules in this regard.

Specialised Accessible Transport Services

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 full details of your passenger rights see http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-