Bus services

Introduction

Different bus service operators provide urban and rural services.

Dublin Bus serves Dublin and the greater Dublin area which services including the Nitelink (late night) and a 24-hour service.

Bus Éireann runs commuter and intercity services countrywide for longer journeys.

Go-Ahead Ireland is a private transport company that runs Dublin city bus routes. Commercial bus operators run services for the Transport for Ireland (TFI). TFI Local Link bus services connect communities throughout rural Ireland.

The easiest way to plan your journey is to use the TFI journey planner or one of the smartphone apps.

Dublin Airport has information on its website about getting to and from the Airport.

Laws

Public bus services are regulated by the National Transport Authority under the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009.

Operators need licensing under a Public Services Obligation Contract.

Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) is a state-owned company that operates most of the bus services in Ireland.

Upcoming fare increases

The first phase of fare adjustments for some public transport services will begin on Sunday, 23 June 2024.

The €2 TFI 90-minute fare in Dublin will continue.

Short Journey Fare Increases

TFI Leap Card users will increase from €1.30 to €1.50.

Cash fares will increase from €1.70 to €2.

Regional Town Bus Services

Bus services for Athlone, Balbriggan, Carlow, Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan and Sligo.

A flat town fare for Leap Card users will be €1.50 and the cash fare will be €2.

Dublin Bus

Dublin Bus is part of CIÉ, providing bus services in Dublin.

These services include:

  • City Bus Services: Regular bus routes throughout Dublin.
  • Airport Services (Airlink): Direct bus routes to and from Dublin Airport.
  • Night Services (Nitelink): Late-night bus services.
  • Express Routes (Xpresso): Faster bus services with fewer stops.
  • Rail Connection: Bus services connecting Connolly and Heuston Railway Stations.
  • School Services: Managed through private contractors, with all coaches displaying the Dublin Bus logo.

Bus Éireann

Bus Éireann is a subsidiary of CIÉ and provides bus services throughout Ireland except for Dublin City.

Bus Éireann services include:

How much does a bus fare cost?

Most reduced fares of 20% will continue on public transport in 2024 as well as a 50% reduction on the Young Adult Leap Card. See the National Transport Authority Fare (NTA) Plan 2024 for more details.

From 23 June 2024 there are fare increases on some services.

Dublin Bus fares and tickets

Generally, the fare you pay is based on the number of stages you travel.

The TFI-90 fare allows free transfers between Dublin Bus, Luas, DART, commuter rail (zones 1 to 4 in the Short Hop Zone) and Go-Ahead Ireland services. It applies to most journeys in the Dublin area, whether involving multiple services within 90 minutes or a single trip.

The fare costs:

  • €2 for an Adult
  • €1 for a Young Adult and Student
  • 65 cents for Child Leap Card holders

Bus Éireann fares and tickets

Bus Éireann services are run throughout Ireland.

When using a TFI Leap Card Bus Éireann single city fares in Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford are:

  • €1.35 for adults
  • €0.65 for Young Adults (19-25), Students, and Children

When using a TFI Leap Card, Bus Éireann town fares in Drogheda, Athlone, Sligo, Navan, and Carlow are:

  • €1.10 for adults (Prices will increase from 23 June 2024)
  • €0.55 for Young Adults, Students and Children

The same fares apply to City Direct Kilkenny city services.

Get more detailed information about bus fares on the TFI website.

How do I pay for bus fare in Ireland?

You can:

  • Buy a bus ticket by paying the bus driver with exact change
  • Use a Leap Card for up to 30% savings
  • Buy a prepaid ticket: At the bus station, through the TFI app or online for Bus Éireann services

Paying with cash

You must have the exact fare and only coins (not notes) are accepted. No change is given. You can pay the bus driver.

Leap Cards

You can save up to 30% by using a Leap Card compared to paying with cash. Leap Cards are accepted by all Dublin Bus services, such as Airlink, Xpresso and Nitelink. They are also valid for Bus Éireann city and town services, and commuter and rural routes (TFI Local Link). They can be used to buy tickets using Expressway services.

There are different types of Leap Cards:

  • Adult
  • Adult personalised
  • Child 5-15 years old
  • Child 16-18 years old
  • Young adult 19-25 years old
  • Student
  • Visitor

You can buy a visitor Leap Card and choose between a one-day or 3 days or 7-day pass. You can buy a ticket online or at various locations. See where you can buy a leap card on leapcard.ie.

Prepaid tickets

You can also pay your fare before you travel using a prepaid ticket. You can buy one ahead of time at the bus station or download it to your phone from the TFI app.

On Bus Eireann services, you also have an option to order your ticket online.

Free Travel Passes

Free Travel is available to some people who are permanently living in Ireland. You can use a Free Travel Pass on most Bus Éireann services and on Local Link services. You cannot use it on Airlink services.

Bus timetables

Departure times are available on the TFI website, at certain bus stops or through the smartphone app.

You can plan your journey and access bus timetables on the Dublin Bus website.

On the Bus Éireann website, you can plan your journey and check timetables.

Rural transport

TFI (Transport for Ireland) Local Link provides links between rural transport and national bus and rail services throughout Ireland.

As well as regular rural services, Local Link provides door-to-door services that can be pre-booked with your Local Link office.

Find out more about rural transport and Local Link services.

Complaints

Complain about a Dublin Bus service

If you have a complaint about a Dublin Bus service, you can:

You should include as much detail as possible, such as:

  • The date and time of travel
  • The bus route number
  • The bus registration number and
  • Where you were leaving and going.

You can read the Dublin Bus customer charter on its website.

Complain about a Bus Éireann service

If you have a complaint about a Bus Éireann service, you can:

You can also read the Bus Éireann customer charter on its website.

Taking a complaint further

If you are not satisfied with the service providers reply to the complaint, you can make a complaint to the National Transport Authority.

Passenger rights

Under EU Regulation 181/2011, bus and coach passengers have minimum rights when travelling in the European Union.

Passengers with disabilities

Public transport companies offer a range of accessibility services.

You can find information on the Dublin Bus website about bye-laws and information for people with disabilities.

Read more about travelling on public transport with a disability or reduced mobility.

Useful contacts

Dublin Bus

59 Upper O'Connell Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353 1 873 4222

Bus Éireann

Locall: 0818 836 611

National Transport Authority

Dún Scéine
Harcourt Lane
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: (01) 879 8300
Page edited: 11 June 2024