Understanding users of concessionary fares

The Northern Ireland public transport Concessionary Fares Scheme was established to promote accessible public transport for members of the community who are most at risk of social exclusion, by providing SmartPasses. The uptake rate for the 60+ SmartPass was 79% in 2018/19; of these holders, 71% used it at least once in that year. These figures have been relatively stable over the past five years.

This research will initially assess robustness of data and associated linkage to the 2011 Census of Population, given this is a new data source within ADR Northern Ireland. Subsequently, it will analyse the profile and rates of uptake and use of SmartPasses by the 60+ population. Findings will contribute to policy aimed at improving the uptake and use of free travel.

Key aims

The project has the following key aims:

  1. To provide a further disaggregation of uptake and use rates by age, sex and geographical areas within Northern Ireland.
  2. To look at the effects of distance to bus stop and public transport travel times to key services.

Considering the impact of socio-economic characteristics on these rates, including health conditions, economic activity status, household composition and access to a car.

Project lead

Dr Jos Ijpelaar, Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA), ADR Northern Ireland.

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