National Transport Authority (NTA) has confirmed that all transport operators in the Free Travel scheme are now allowing customers with a PSC Free Travel Card
to continue to avail of Free Travel even if the card has expired.
This is an interim measure during the COVID-19 crisis.
In line with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions from September 2021, seating available for use on transport services has returned to 100% capacity.
What the Free Travel Scheme is
The Free Travel Scheme allows you to travel free of charge on all public transport owned by the State. This includes bus, rail and Dublin’s LUAS with some exceptions.
Everyone aged 66 and over, legally living permanently in the State, is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. Some people under 66 also qualify. You cannot use your existing free travel pass for free travel within Northern Ireland.
Free Travel Companion Card
In some cases, a Free Travel Companion Card is available. This card allows a companion to travel with you for free. No one else can use your Free Travel Card; it is for you only.
Free travel is also available on a limited number of services operated by private bus transport companies. Private bus transport operators that have opted in to the Free Travel Scheme accept free travel cards. You should contact the department to check whether your private bus operator accepts Free Travel Cards.
When you use your Free Travel Card, you must follow the rules that apply to the type of transport you are using.
How to qualify
You may be entitled to free travel if you are legally and permanently living in the State.
The following rules also apply.
You are entitled to the Free Travel Scheme if you are aged 66 or over.
You may also be entitled to free travel if you are getting:
You may be entitled to the Free Travel Scheme if you are getting a social security invalidity payment or similar payment from:
another EU member state
a country with which Ireland has had a Bilateral Social Security Agreement for at least 12 months. This type of agreement is between Ireland and another country. It protects the pension entitlements of Irish people who go to work in this country and the other way around for people coming to work in Ireland
Widow or widower
You may be entitled to the Free Travel Scheme if you are a widow or widower or a surviving civil partner aged 60 or over. In this case your late spouse or civil partner must have held a Free Travel Pass, and you must be getting one of the following payments:
Note: this pension may be a similar social security pension or benefit from an EU member state or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement.
To avail of free travel within Northern Ireland, you must first obtain a Senior SmartPass card.
Application forms (FTNI1) for Senior smartpass cards are available at your local Social Welfare Office or at your local Citizens Information Centre.
The completed application form must be brought to your nearest local Social Welfare Office along with:
a recent passport standard colour photograph and
evidence of your identity (driving licence/passport/any other form of photo id, if available) and
evidence of address (a recent utility bill, for example electricity/gas/phone/waste charges bill or a bank/building society/credit union statement) and
current Free Travel Pass
Following processing of your application, your Senior SmartPass card, together with instructions for use, will be posted direct to your home address by post. It may take up to six weeks to process the application.
There is no charge for your first Senior Smartpass card. There may be a charge for replacement cards. Please keep your Senior Smartpass card in a safe place.
Return your application with the relevant supporting documents to:
Free Travel Section
Social Welfare Services, Department of Social Protection, College Road, Sligo, Co. Sligo, F91 T384