Our Social Role

Social Infrastructure

The importance of the social dimension of city and rural services is recognised by the State, and a level of state funding ensures the continued operation of those routes that are not profitable on a commercial basis. The feedback we receive from local communities and from public representatives confirms the importance of the role that city and rural service play in supporting Irish communities.

Free Travel Scheme

The Department of Social and Family Affairs operates the Free Travel Scheme that benefits thousands of people across Ireland, especially in rural areas. The scheme is valid across the Bus Éireann network, and on Expressway services. In recent years, the scheme has been extended to include travel to and from Northern Ireland.

School Transport Service

Established by the Department of Education and Skills in 1967, the School Transport Scheme provides a basic, uniform level of transportation for pupils who live long distances from their nearest school. Bus Éireann administers the scheme nationally, carrying 119,000 children safely to school every day.


Bus Éireann provides direct employment to over 2,800 people nationally, with a further 1,700 subcontracted as part of the School Transport Scheme. The business activities of Bus Éireann also create employment for people in the many other sectors who supply the company with services and materials.

Spread of Economic Benefits

Bus Éireann’s operating depots are located in various parts of the country, distributing the benefits of company spending on wages, goods, and services across many towns and rural areas.