New Free Travel Scheme Extension Launches Today

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Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys (Image: finegael.ie)

To mark International Epilepsy Day, a New Free Travel Scheme Extension is to be announced today.

From July, the Free Travel Scheme is being 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.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys is to implement the new scheme which is expected to benefit 32,000 people this year at a cost of €8.5 million.

The scheme will allow eligible people to access free travel on all public transport provided by the State. This includes bus, rail, Local Link and the Luas, along with some services operated by private bus and ferry transport operators.

It is expected that application forms for the new scheme will not be available until May with the scheme to commence in July.

Peter Murphy, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Ireland says the expansion of the free travel scheme is something that Epilepsy Ireland have sought for many years.

There are approximately 45,000 affected by Epilepsy in Ireland.

The Free Travel Scheme is currently available to everyone who is 66 or over, and to certain people who are under 66 in receipt of qualifying payments or who meet the medical conditions for Blind Pension, and legally living permanently in the State.

In certain circumstances the qualifying persons’ partner or companion may also be able to travel for free.