If you qualify for a state pension, you could be eligible for a pass that gives you free travel in Greater Manchester and the rest of England under the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme.

Do you qualify?

To get a travel pass for older people from TfGM you must:

  • live in Greater Manchester, (if you live outside Greater Manchester, apply for a pass in your own area but you cannot add tram and train travel within Greater Manchester to passes issued by other areas); and
  • qualify for a state pension. It doesn't matter if you are taking the pension or not, or whether you work or not.

The age you qualify for a state pension isn't the same for everyone. You may need to be up to 66 to qualify depending on when you were born. If you're not sure, check your state pension age.

Costs and benefits

The pass is free, and lasts for five years.

Within Greater Manchester:

  • Travel for free on all buses within Greater Manchester between 9.30am and midnight, Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
  • You can also choose to pay £10 to add tram and train to your pass, for a year’s unlimited off-peak travel on Metrolink and trains within Greater Manchester. You can then travel on Metrolink trams and in trains after 9.30am on Monday to Friday, and all day on weekends and public holidays.
  • If you travel outside of these times you must pay the full adult fare.

Throughout England:

  • Travel for free on all local buses between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
  • If you travel outside of these times you must pay the full adult fare.

How to use the pass

You must always remember to:

  • touch in at the card reader when boarding buses
  • touch in and touch out at a yellow smart reader on tram stops, for Metrolink
  • touch in and out at train station ticket barriers, where they are in place

You need to present your card when requested to any Transport for Greater Manchester or transport operator official during your journey.

The smart readers on tram stops now accept contactless cards and devices for travel. Please move your concessionary pass away from your payment cards, when you use a smart reader. For example, if you keep your pass in a wallet or purse, remove it before you touch-in and touch-out. This will make sure you’re not charged on a contactless card you didn’t intend to use.

Apply by post

Download an application form or get one from a TfGM Travelshop.

If you are eligible complete the relevant form and attach:

  • A passport sized colour photograph of yourself
  • Proof of age – a copy of either your birth certificate, medical card, passport or driving licence
  • Proof of your address – a copy of either a utility bill, local council tax bill or a Department for Work and Pensions letter from within the last 12 months

You can take your form and proof to a Travelshop who can check it, or post your documents to the address on the application form. Your pass will be sent in the post to you. We aim to have these processed within 10 working days although with the Coronavirus pandemic processing may take longer.

Please do not send original documents.

Renew your pass

At least two weeks before your travel pass expires, we will send you a new pass, provided it has been in use.

If you have not used your pass in the last 12 months you will not be issued a new card and will need to contact us to request a new card once expired. If you still require a pass, please contact TfGM's Concessionary Travel team on 0161 244 1000.

Please note: when using your pass, you must touch-in on buses and use the validators to touch-in and out on Metrolink or when using the trains. If you do not do this then your card will show as inactive.

If you change address it is your responsibility to inform TfGM. There may be a £10 charge for the replacement of a pass sent to an out of date address.

If you no longer require your pass or have any other queries please contact TfGM's Concessionary Travel team on 0161 244 1000.

If you need a replacement pass

There is a £10 administration charge for a replacement of a lost, damaged or stolen concessionary pass.

To order a replacement pass you can:

  • Call TfGM on 0161 244 1000 to make a card payment (7am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 8pm at weekends).
  • Visit a Travelshop to order and pay for a replacement pass.