Bus and train travel with a disability
Information about public transport in Northern Ireland for people with disabilities or with reduced mobility. This includes accessibility on buses and trains, and at stops and stations.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, public transport services have been reduced. For more information, including timetables and about free travel for Health and Social Care workers, visit the Translink website
Translink is the main provider of public transport by bus and train in Northern Ireland. The Translink Metro (Belfast) bus services use low floor, wheelchair accessible vehicles. Each bus has visual displays and audio announcements so passengers know which stop is coming next.
Trains are usually easier to board and many stations have step-free access. However, some stations and some Ulsterbus and Goldline vehicles have steps.
If you need help when travelling, call the Translink contact centre at least 24 hours before you travel to make sure you can get the information and help that you need.
- Translink contact centre: 028 9066 6630
- Translink contact information
Translink bus services
Metro is the name of bus services that run in and around Belfast.
Glider is a service that connects west Belfast, east Belfast and the Titanic Quarter through the city centre.
Ulsterbus serves other towns and villages across Northern Ireland, as well as services to and from Belfast.
Goldline is the express coach service that runs between towns and cities, including a number of cross-border services.
Visit the Translink website for more details on Translink bus services.
Rail services run between some of the main towns and cities, including:
Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnród Éireann run a joint Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin.
Accessibility at stations
Translink has a guide setting out what features are available at major halts and stations to help people with disabilities or reduced mobility to use them. More information on the accessibility of Translink services can be found at the following links:
Train and station facilities
If you need help at the train station, contact either the station or Translink before you travel and let them know what help you will need.
Many ticket office windows have induction loops to help people who have a hearing aid. These windows are clearly marked. Phones at many stations are also fitted with devices to help people who have a hearing aid.
Many train stations have on-platform help points for enquiries on train running times and connections and for reporting lost property. You can also report emergency situations or suspicious activity through the help points.
Not all stations have help points or toilet facilities, so it is best to check the facilities available at stations on your journey before you travel.
Plan your journey carefully to make sure you get the help you need.
- plan the route you want to take
- check if your route has step-free access
- check to see if the station will be manned during the time you are travelling
You should remember that:
- you will need to make firm travel plans and stick to them so that staff know when to expect you
- if you are a wheelchair user, staff will not be able to lift you or your luggage
- staff may refuse to help if they think that doing so will place either you or them at risk of injury
Translink has an online journey planner to help you plan your trips on public transport. There is also a phone service for the Translink call centre.
- phone: 028 9066 6630
- textphone: 18001
Free travel and reduced fares
Older people and people with a disability can travel for free, or for half fare, on public transport.
Free travel passes from any other countries are not accepted in Northern Ireland. Senior citizens who live in the Republic of Ireland can, however, get all Ireland free travel at the age of 66.
Inclusive Mobility Transport Advisory Committee
The Inclusive Mobility Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac) have published factsheets on bus services, including:
There's also a guide for people with learning disabilities on using bus services.
Information on taking assistance or guide dogs on rail services can be found at this link:
Train travel and the Disability Discrimination Act
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, train staff must make 'reasonable adjustments' for passengers with disabilities.