Bus Pass - General information

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR CONCESSIONARY PASSHOLDERS

From 12th May 2013, all ticket machines on local bus services throughout Wales, including Rhondda Cynon Taf, will indicate whether your concessionary bus pass is valid for free travel.

Your concessionary bus pass will have been cancelled by the Council if:

  • It has been reported lost or stolen, or
  • It is being used fraudulently, or
  • It has been replaced by a more recent pass, or
  • You are no longer entitled to concessionary travel

Your concessionary bus pass is NOT valid for free travel in these circumstances and you may have to pay your bus fare.

To find out more, including how to check whether your concessionary bus pass is valid for travel, please see Is Yours Valid information sheet|.

Who provides the pass?

The All Wales Concessionary Bus Pass Free Travel Scheme is funded by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Welsh Government.  It entitles people aged 60 or over and people with certain disabilities to travel free of charge on local bus services throughout Wales.

Do I qualify for a bus pass?

If you can travel by bus without needing someone else’s help, can provide sufficient evidence that you are a principal or primary resident within the Rhondda Cynon Taf area and you meet any one of the following criteria, then you will automatically qualify for a bus pass:-

  • Aged 60 or over – please see Aged 60 or Over Bus Pass.
  • Currently in receipt of Disability Living Allowance Mobility Component at the Higher rate – please see Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
  • Currently in receipt of War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement – please see Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
  • You are a seriously injured service personnel or veteran who has been awarded a lump sum for an injury in Tariffs 1 - 8 under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) – please see Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
  • Personal Independence Payment award scoring 8 or more points under Mobility Descriptor 12 "Moving Around" - please see Disabled Person's Bus Pass.
  • Personal Independence Payment award scoring 12 points under Mobility Descriptor 11 "Planning and Following a Journey" - please see Disabled Person's Bus Pass.

If you do not automatically qualify for a bus pass, but can travel by bus without needing someone else’s help and you can provide sufficient evidence that you are a principal or primary resident within the Rhondda Cynon Taf area then you may be eligible for assessment for a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass,  please see Disabled Person's Bus Pass.|

If you qualify for a bus pass but cannot travel by bus without needing someone else’s help, then you may be eligible for assessment for a Companion Bus Pass – please see Companion Bus Pass|.

When can I use my pass?

You can use your pass at any time and on any day of the week.

Where can I travel?

You can travel free of charge on almost all local bus services throughout Wales.  In addition you can travel to and from towns just over the border in England, providing there is no change of bus involved.

You can also travel free of charge on certain journeys provided by local Community Transport Operators in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.

However, you cannot travel free on certain types of services, for example:

  • Rail Link bus services, which connect with trains and charge rail based fares.
  • National Express / Long distance coach services.
  • Buses operating tourist services.

How do I use my bus pass?

Your bus pass contains a small electronic chip (often referred to as a Smartcard) which is used to check your concessionary entitlement and ensure that the bus operator is paid for your travel.

Please ensure that you keep your pass in a safe place where it cannot be bent, twisted, or damaged and in a separate compartment from other bank cards etc.  If you keep your pass in a wallet or purse, you must allow the driver to see your photograph.

Local service buses are fitted with a new style ticket machine, next to the entrance, called a “Reader”.  When you board, please hold your bus pass in close proximity to the “Reader”, with your photograph face up.  This will electronically register the pass and confirm it is valid and acknowledge that the pass has been read.  It will then respond with a bleep, a green light and you maybe issued with a ticket before you take your seat.

In the event of this not happening it may be the case that your bus pass has a fault.  Please see What if my pass becomes faulty?| for further information.

How is my personal information used and stored?

Data Protection Act 1998 – Fair Processing Notice

This notice tells you about how your personal information is used and made available to the Welsh  Government, Regional Transport Consortia, Local Authorities, and bus operators, for the purposes of administering and participating in the all Wales concessionary fare scheme.

The collection of personal information

Information about you will be obtained in two ways.  Initially, when you apply for a concessionary bus pass the Local Authority will process your application and hold your information in a database.  This will be added to by the Local Authority when it receives information about you from the bus operator who will record details of your bus journeys. 

Personal information held

The sort of personal information held includes:-

  • Personal details such as name, address, date of birth, National Insurance Number and nature of disability (if applicable)
  • Photograph of the pass holder
  • Journey details
  • Reasons for a pass being declined (if applicable)

The use made of this personal information

Information is used by the Welsh Government to reimburse bus operators for the numbers of concessionary journeys made by pass holders.  The Welsh Government also uses information for research purposes, such as the numbers of journeys made over a daily, weekly and monthly basis, the most popular and least popular times, and geographic area for journeys etc.  This information will inform transport policy changes and funding in the future.  However, the information processed for research purposes is done in a way that ensures individual pass holders cannot be indentified.

The Regional Transport Consortia also use the personal information collected to do similar research to that undertaken by the Welsh Government and to calculate the amount to be paid to bus operators within its own region.  However, the information it has access to and makes use of is limited to the pass holders who live and who travel on the local transport within its own region.  This research is also done in a way that ensures individual pass holders cannot be identified.

The Local Authority uses the information it collects to administer local transport that it supports within its own area.  For example:

  • For planning, and development of transport policy
  • The provision and management of the transport services to local communities
  • Monitoring and reporting on transport services
  • The giving of support and guidance to local communities and transport operators
  • The organisation of transport events

Information is also used by Local Authorities to reimburse bus operators for concessionary journeys made by pass holders.

Administration and payment calculations are done in a way that ensures individual pass holders cannot be identified.

The bus operator will provide journey details to the Welsh Government, Regional Transport Consortia and Local Authorities to enable their payment to be calculated.  They will not have access to the personal information of pass holders.  Although the journey details they record will include a unique pass holder number, the bus operators will not be able to use this information to identify individual pass holders.

Organisations who may share personal information

Information held by the bus operators, Local Authorities, Regional Transport Consortia and the Welsh  government on pass holders may be shared with other organisations where the law allows, for example with:

  • Central and local government for the development of transport policy and planning and provision of transport services
  • Social services and other health and welfare organisations where there is a need to share information to protect pass holders and, where appropriate, to the police, eg in circumstances where someone is making a fraudulent application or use of a concessionary bus pass.

Other information

Welsh Government, Regional Transport Consortia, Local Authorities and bus operators will treat the details that you provide in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. 

Your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives individuals certain rights in respect of personal information held on them by any organisation.  These rights include:-

  • The right to ask for and receive copies of the personal information held on you, although some information can sometimes be legitimately withheld
  • The right, in some circumstances, to prevent the processing of personal information if doing so will cause damage or distress
  • The right to ask for wrong information to be put right

You also have the right to ask the Information Commissioner, who enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act 1998, to assess whether or not the processing of personal information is likely to comply with the provisions of the Act. 

Seeking further information

For further details about the personal information collected and its use, if you have concerns about the accuracy of personal information, or wish to exercise your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, you should contact:

  • The bus operator with whom you may have travelled
  • Your local authority (please see Contact Us)
  • Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer at:-
    Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ. 
    Telephone 0845 010 4400
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office help line can be contacted on 01625 545745
  • Information is also available from www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

How do I find out about bus times?

Traveline Cymru provides times and route information about all bus, coach, rail, ferry and air services in Wales.  Calls can be made in English or Welsh to 0871 200 22 33 between 7am and 10pm every day*.  Friendly experienced staff can pinpoint any location and bus stop in Wales and provide information about public transport journeys and connections. 

An internet based enquiry service is also available by clicking on the Traveline Cymru link.  You can also receive bus times from Traveline Cymru| on mobile phones via text messaging (SMS).  You will need to enter the unique 7 letter bus stop code (which can be found at the bus stop or on the Traveline Cymru website) to 84268.  You will then receive a reply via text showing the times, the service number and destination of up to the next four buses due at that particular stop.

*Closed on Christmas Day and operating reduced hours on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Is my bus pass valid on coaches or trains?

No.  Passes are valid for free travel on local bus services throughout Wales.  These include some limited stop bus services but not coach services e.g. National Express or the rail-link services which connect with trains.  However, you will find that the railway operators and many coach companies offer discounted fare schemes to concessionary passholders.

What if my pass is lost, stolen or damaged?

You can receive a replacement pass by contacting the Council on 01443 425001.  Your details will be taken and a replacement pass will be sent to your home address within 5 working days.  Please note there will be a charge for doing this.

Alternatively, you can book an appointment with an advisor at one of the Council’s One4aLL Centres.  This can be done ahead on the Council's website, unfortunately this cannot be done by telephone, (please see Contact Us|). 

If you request a replacement pass in person at either the Aberdare or Pontypridd One4aLL Centres, staff will be able to issue you with a replacement bus pass during your visit (this is subject to the equipment being in working order at the time of your visit).  Please note there will be a charge for doing this.

If you request a replacement pass at either Porth or Treorchy One4aLL Centres or someone requests a replacement pass on your behalf at either Aberdare or Pontypridd One4aLL Centres, your bus pass will be sent to your home address within 7 days of your request.  Please note there will be a charge for doing this. 

For enquiries about late delivery contact the Council (please see Contact Us|). 

What if my pass becomes faulty?

For further information contact the Council (please see Contact Us|).

When will I need to renew my pass?

There is no expiry date on your bus pass and it is anticipated the life-span of a concessionary bus pass is between three and five years.  We will contact you when your pass is due for renewal, so please ensure you inform the Council if you change your address or your circumstances change (please see Contact Us|). 

I have changed my Name – what should I do?

In order for your record to be amended you will need to provide any one of the following documents as evidence, Marriage Certificate, Deed Poll document or Decree Absolute certificate.  A photocopy of one of the above documents can be posted to the Integrated Transport Unit (please see Contact Us|).  Please do not send any original documents by post.  Please note there will be a charge for doing this. 

Alternatively, you can book an appointment with an advisor at one of the Council’s One4aLL Centres.  This can be done ahead on the Council's website, unfortunately this cannot be done by telephone, (please see Contact Us|) taking the original documentation along with you.   Please note there will be a charge for doing this. 

I have moved within the Rhondda Cynon Taf area – what should I do?

In order for your record to be amended you will need to provide proof of your new address (for example, current council tax bill [this financial year], utility bill [last quarter], current driving licence, evidence of rent payments or recent correspondence from Department of Work and Pensions, Inland Revenue, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).  A copy of any one of the above documents can be posted to the Integrated Transport Unit, (please see Contact Us|).

Alternatively, you can book an appointment with an advisor at one of the Council’s One4aLL Centres.  This can be done ahead on the Council's website, unfortunately this cannot be done by telephone, (please see Contact Us|) taking the original documentation along with you. 

I have moved into or out of the Rhondda Cynon Taf area – what should I do?

For further information contact the Council (please see Contact Us|). 

What if my bus pass is no longer needed?

You should inform the Council if any of the following circumstances apply (please see Contact Us|).

  • You no longer wish to take advantage of the bus pass.
  • You become unable to take advantage of the bus pass because of disability or long term illness.
  • You move house to somewhere outside the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.
  • Because of a bereavement of a family member or close friend.

When I use my bus pass are there any other conditions of use?

Please remember that you are the only person allowed to use your bus pass.  Where a companion pass has been issued, the companion will be permitted to travel at the same time and on the same journey as the passholder.  If you allow someone else to use it, your pass could be cancelled and/or its renewal refused and it may also lead to legal action.

Travel using a bus pass is subject to the normal regulations and conditions of the bus operator(s).  Your pass must be shown whenever requested by a driver or inspector.  Your pass does not give you any rights other than those enjoyed by any fare paying passenger, nor does it entitle you to be carried in preference to other passengers.

The Council can accept no liability for the failure of any bus service to operate or of any operator to accept a bus pass for travel.  If this happens, please contact the Council (please see Contact Us|).

Who do I contact when things go wrong on the buses?

The bus operators endeavour to operate their services to a high standard but occasionally things go wrong and in the first instance complaints should be directed to them. 

Alternatively if you need further advice or if you are unhappy with an operator’s response, Bus Users UK is an independent body that exists to help you to get the best from your bus services.  Please find their contact information below:

Bus Users UK Cymru, PO Box 1045, Cardiff CF11 1JE

Telephone: 029 2022 1370

E-mail: wales@bususers.org| 

Contact Us

Any postal enquiries can be sent to:
Integrated Transport Unit
Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
Sardis House
Sardis Road
Pontypridd
CF37 1DU

Telephone: 01443 425001

Email: transportationservices@rctcbc.gov.uk| 

You will need to book an appointment with an advisor at one of the Council’s One4aLL Centres.  This can be done ahead on the Council's website, unfortunately this cannot be done by telephone.

One4aLL Centres deal with face to face queries only (please do not send any correspondence).  Opening times are Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm (unless otherwise stated) and are located at:

Aberdare – Rock Grounds, High Street, Aberdare CF44 7AE
Mountain Ash - Library, Knight Street, Mountain Ash CF45 3EY (Opening times 9.30am - 3pm)
Pontypridd – Sardis House, Sardis Road, Pontypridd CF37 1DU
Porth – Bronwydd House, Bronwydd Avenue, Porth CF39 9DL
Treorchy – Library, Station Road, Treorchy CF42 6NN

Book a One4All Appointment online