Community transport and shopmobility schemes
Information about community transport and shopmobility schemes in Northern Ireland. The schemes help you travel if you have a disability or reduced mobility.
COVID-19 update: Dial-a-Lift passenger services are available. As coronavirus restrictions are still in place, travel should be in line with Government guidance and regulations for COVID-19. For further information contact your local community transport operator.
Dial-a-Lift is a transport service for people living in rural areas who are unable to access or have trouble using public transport.
You can use the service to go shopping or to the hairdressers, for doctor and local health centre appointments. Or, to go to your pharmacy or the Post Office. You can also use it to get to training or recreational opportunities and to visit friends and family.
Dial-a-Lift cannot be used:
- for hospital appointments outside the local area
- as regular transport every day for work or college
- by people living in larger towns
- to replace statutory education, health or social service transport
You must be a member of your local community transport provider to use Dial-a-Lift. You can ask for an application form by calling your local Rural Community Transport Partnership office.
To qualify for Dial-a-Lift you must also meet the following criteria:
- live in a rural area that is not covered by the DATS urban scheme
- have difficulty accessing everyday services due to lack of transport
Priority is given to older people and people with disabilities.
Dial-a-Lift is not available for people who have access to a car. It is also not available if you are on a bus or train route and can use public transport, or can get lifts from family or friends.
Dial-a-Lift is available Monday to Friday, from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm with exceptional operating hours during public holidays.
Make a booking
You must book at least two working days beforehand. Bookings can be taken up to seven days before. Your local community transport provider will confirm if transport is available.
While your local Community Transport office will do its best to organise suitable transport, you may be asked to share a vehicle or travel earlier or later depending on availability.
Transport may not always be available as this service depends on vehicles and volunteers being available.
You can make a booking by contacting your local Rural Community Transport operator.
Dial-a-Lift fares vary depending on the distance of your journey. For details on fare costs, contact your local Rural Community Transport operator.
Through the Assisted Rural Travel Scheme (ARTS) you can travel free of charge on Dial-a -Lift if you hold one of the following SmartPasses:
- War Disabled
You can travel for half fare on Dial-a-Lift if you hold a Half Fare SmartPass. Your SmartPass must be valid at the time of travel and it must shown to the driver on every journey. You can find out more about SmartPasses on the following page:
Disability Action Transport Scheme (DATS)
DATS is a transport scheme that runs in and around large towns across Northern Ireland. If you live in or close to one of these towns you can travel in and around this area – this is your travel zone. When you become a member, you will be given more details on your travel zone. Find out more on the DATS website:
Shopmobility lends manual and powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to people with limited mobility so they can shop or use them to access leisure and commercial facilities.
Shopmobility centres are usually in a town centre or shopping centre, helping people to go shopping and to visit leisure and commercial facilities. To see where Shopmobility runs in Northern Ireland visit:
You can get general information about the Department for Infrastructure's (DfI) transport programme for people with disabilities on the DfI website.
Travel Safe guide
For more information about accessible transport or to get a copy of the Travel Safe Guide, contact Department for Infrastructure - accessible transport.
You can find an audio version of the guide at the following link:
The Inclusive Mobility Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac) has factsheets about these schemes: