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New free travel scheme open for applications as move to benefit extra 32k people



APPLICATIONS for a free travel scheme have been opened with some 32,000 people expected to benefit from the move.

The extension of the scheme will now see those medically unfit to drive able to apply.

The application process for the new Free Travel Scheme Extension has been openedCredit: Maxwell
Minister Heather Humphreys launched the move at Busaras, alongside Wayne O’Reilly and Lisa Whelan who both have epilepsyCredit: Maxwell

The measure was secured by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys as part of the 2024 budget.

From the end of July, the country’s free travel scheme will be extended to people who have never been able to drive due to a disability, and to drivers who have a licence and are medically certified as not fit to drive for a period of 12 months or longer.

The scheme will allow eligible people to access free travel on all public transport provided by the State.

This includes all bus services, rail and the Luas, along with some private bus and ferry services in the country.

Up to 32,000 people are expected to benefit from this measure in 2024.

Commenting on the move, Minister Humphreys said: “The measure is expected to benefit some 32,000 people this year and will give them access to free travel on all public transport provided by the state.

“It will benefit people with a range of disabilities including, for example, those with epilepsy and who, as such, face additional transport costs.”

The scheme is currently available for anyone 66 or over in Ireland.

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There are currently approximately 1.1 million people in receipt of free travel.

This figure increases to over 1.8 million when companion and spousal passes are taken into consideration.

The Minister made the announcement today at Busaras in conjunction with representatives from Epilepsy Ireland, with whom she has worked closely with to deliver the changes.

Move welcomed

Epilepsy CEO Paul Murphy has applauded the move for helping those living with disabilities.

He said: “Opening access to the free travel scheme to people with epilepsy – and people with other disabilities and long-term health conditions – who are unable to drive due to their condition is such an important step to ease the significant burden that can be caused by travel restrictions.

“We are delighted to see applications open today for the expanded free travel scheme and wish to thank Minister Humphreys for her willingness to implement this change.”

For those looking to apply to the new travel scheme, go to to look at applications.

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