Concessionary travel in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares scheme was established to promote accessible public transport for members of the community who are most at risk of social exclusion, through discounted fares.


The Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Scheme was established in 1978, under Article 5 of the Transport (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, to provide free transport to people who were Registered Blind and half fare travel to senior citizens and war disabled pensioners.

Free travel for senior citizens (65+) was introduced in 2001, and in 2002 this was extended to war disabled pensioners.  The scheme was extended in 2004 to provide half fare concession for people meeting the following categories:

  • registered as partially sighted
  • refused a driving licence on medical grounds
  • known to have a learning disability
  • in receipt of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
  • in receipt of the standard or enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Since 2008 the concessionary fare scheme has been extended to include free travel for all men and women over 60 years old. 

Further information

You can get further information about Concessionary Fares on the Free bus travel and concessions section of the nidirect website.

Assisted Rural Travel Scheme (ARTS)

The Assisted Rural Travel Scheme allows Smart Pass holders (in particular the elderly and disabled) access to concessionary travel on Rural Community Transport Partnership vehicles.  

Contact your local Rural Community Transport Partnership for membership. For contact information about your local Rural Community Transport Partnership, visit the following page on nidirect:

Rathlin Island residents

The Department for Infrastructure funds the Resident’s Pass scheme to help permanent residents of the island offset the cost of travel to and from the mainland to assist the economic and social sustainability of life on Rathlin.

Rathlin Resident's Pass scheme is operated and approved by DfI. For information on the scheme you can contact us:

Back to top