Bus Éireann removes “ridiculous and unnecessary” bicycle fee on some routes

No one should face a financial penalty for choosing sustainable commuting options, according to Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik who today welcomed the removal of the €10 bicycle carriage fee on some Bus Éireann services.

Bus Éireann said it is removing the €10 each way fee for uses of its Public Service Obligation bus services following a parliamentary question asked by the Labour Party leader.

IrishCycle.com recently reported how Bacik questioned Bus Éireann’s charge for bicycles on Expressway and local coaches with storage. At that time, the Green Party leader and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said it was a matter for the bus company.

Bacik then wrote to Bus Éireann, who confirmed to her that the charge was being removed.

Today, Bacik said: “Cleaner air, bustling streets, less traffic, healthier commutes – all these things are supported by sustainable transport. And everybody needs to be able to get from A to B as of right. Yet we know that, for many people, sustainable transport remains less affordable and convenient than travel by private car. This is having negative impacts on the climate and public health. Even while other sectors are starting to see small declines, Ireland’s transport emissions are staying the same and even rising.”

“Labour believes in sensible policies and a Just Transition. That means that no one should face a financial penalty for choosing more sustainable commuter options. It is wonderful news that we will now see the ridiculous and unnecessary €10 charge removed for transportation of bicycles, buggies and pushchairs, following my representations to Bus Éireann,” said Bacik.

She added: “I am grateful to the NTA and Bus Éireann for their positive engagement on this and their acceptance of the need to change. We need more of this kind of constructive change, in recognition of modern multi-modal methods of travel.”

In an email to Bus Éireann, Bacik asked if the company has examined the possibility of reducing or eliminating the charge. She said a reduced change may promote the use of multi-modal trips, including bike and bus, especially at times when the storage areas of coaches are otherwise empty.

Stephen Kent, CEO of Bus Éireann, responded to the Labour leader by outlining that, after consultation with the National Transport Authority, the charge will be removed on Public Service Obligation routes, with bicycles still being carried subject to space being available.

Kent said: “Following on from your recent question on bicycle charges, we have consulted the National Transport Authority who determine the fares set for Public Service Obligation routes and it has now been agreed to drop the €10.00 bicycle in transit charges on PSO routes operated by Bus Éireann from Sunday, 7th April 2024.”

He said that the removal of the charge will also apply to the carriage of additional luggage and non-folding bicycles, prams and child pushchairs.

He added: “The Passenger Luggage section of our terms and conditions will be amended to remove mention of the €10.00 transit charge but we will continue to stipulate that the carriage of bicycles, prams and pushchairs is subject to accommodation being available on vehicles.’’

IrishCycle.com today asked Bus Éireann, a semi-State company wholly owned by the Government, to confirm that the removal of the fee does not include Expressway services and why would that be the case. The company had not responded before the publication of this article.

At €10 each way, the company had the most expensive charging practices for bicycles on PSO services, while carrying a bike on its Expressway services is priced at €5 each way.

Citylink, Aircoach, and GoBus charge half of the now removed PSO rate with the State-owned bus operator at €5, while JJ Kavanagh and Matthews both carry bicycles for free. All are subject to space which generally cannot be reserved except GoBus which offers a phone-in booking service.

Bicycles on public transport: The wider policy picture

The National Cycle Policy 2009-2020, introduced by former transport minister Noel Dempsey, included the action: “We will examine the existing conditions of carriage of bikes on intercity buses – both public and private – and develop specific policies to improve the service. This will include having operators provide clear information on the conditions of carriage of bikes.”

Since taking office, Minister Ryan has abandoned having a separate National Cycle Policy. Some cycling policies have been integrated into the National Sustainable Mobility Policy, but they lack the number of actions which were in the standalone Cycle Policy.

Ciarán Cuffe, the then junior minister for sustainable transport, allowed bicycles for free off-peak on urban rail services in 2011 as an action under the National Cycle Policy. In more recent developments for Irish Rail under this Government, new carriages with extra bicycle space are currently being rolled out on the InterCity train services which previously had very limited bicycle storage.

However, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formally the RPA) strongly pushed against attempts to follow the then Government policy of trialling bicycles on Luas. Similar trials in other cities have proven successful in showing that having bicycles on board does not impose safety issues or unduly affect passengers.

For example, bicycles were permanently allowed on Edinburgh Trams following a successful two-month trial in 2015. Meanwhile, a limited trial has just started on trams in Manchester. Bicycles are also allowed on trams of the same type as the Luas trams in a number of French cities.

The Cycle Policy also included a measure to trial bicycles on racks on city buses, but this was never implemented.

Clarification: Expressway services are charged at €5 each way, which differs from the PSO charge of €10 each way. This wasn’t originally mentioned in the article and edits were made to better reflect the difference in the article. As above, IrishCycle.com has requested clarity from the company about the status of the Expressway charge. The lower Expressway fee is not mentioned on Bus Éireann’s main website where Expressway tickets can be purchased and where the PSO bicycle charge is prominently displayed.


  1. I typically take the bus eirann from Ardrahan County Galway to Galway City, how do I ascertain whether the buses on my route are equipped to accept my bike?

  2. What I always found unfair was that despite paying for my bike luggage, it was still the lowest priority item and would be the first to be removed if the luggage compartment was full of suitcases, which were free.


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