Enjoy FREE bus travel forever with a Senior Bus Pass!

Whether you're catching up with old friends at Southend Pier, or spending time with the grandkids at Colchester Zoo, if you're eligible for a state pension, you qualify for FREE bus travel across Essex and England through the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme. 

With a Senior Bus Pass, you can enjoy unlimited free bus rides every weekday from 9:00am to midnight, all day on weekends and public holidays too. You could meet up with friends for a coffee or catch up with your family, head to the shops or explore some of the local museums - you can do more of what you love whilst spending less. 

So what are you waiting for? Start making memories to last a lifetime with your free Senior Bus Pass.

Click here to apply today!

Using a Concessionary Travel Pass:

  • If you are of state pensionable age and over, or registered disabled, and hold a valid Concessionary Travel Pass you are entitled to free travel on all First Essex buses after 9:00am Monday to Friday and all day weekends and Bank Holidays.
  • Before 9:00am Monday-Friday the full adult fare is payable.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our pages - Discover Essex for Less

Got a destination in mind but not sure what bus to catch? Use our online Journey Planner by clicking here or download the First Bus App by clicking here.

FAQs - Senior Bus Pass

Am I eligible?

If you live in England and are of retirement age or an eligible disabled person, you are entitled to an English National Concessionary Bus Pass.

The age when you qualify for a state pension is not the same for everyone and depends on the year you were born. Check your state pension age to see when you'll be eligible for free bus travel.  

How do I apply for my pass?

The Senior Bus Pass is issued by Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council or Thurrock Council.

If you’re eligible you can apply for your pass on their website:

Essex County Council - Older or disabled persons bus pass | Travel Essex

Southend-on-Sea City Council - Bus passes – Southend-on-Sea City Council

Thurrock Council - National Concessionary Bus Pass | Bus passes for older and disabled people | Thurrock Council

How do I use my pass?
Simply tap, beep, then take a seat!
1. Tap your pass on to the ticket machine as you board.
2. Wait for the beep from the ticket machine.
3. Take a seat on the bus.

Enjoy FREE bus travel forever.

What if my pass doesn't work?
You can still travel - your driver will record your pass manually and issue you with a ticket for your journey.

What if my pass needs to be replaced? 

If you have lost, or damaged, your bus pass you can either apply online for a replacement or call 0345 200 0388 (Essex County Council) to arrange for a replacement pass. A £10 charge applies to replace a lost pass.

To report a lost bus pass to Southend City Council, you can use their online portal

To apply for a replacement bus pass for Thurrock with a fee of £11 for lost or damaged passes, you can fill out the online application form on their website. 

How do I renew my Bus Pass?

Essex County Council

Older People (blue stripe on the right hand side): Your pass is usually renewed automatically.

Disabled People (orange stripe on the right hand side): Some passes are renewed automatically, but some require evidence to be updated in order to renew a bus pass. 

More information can be found here: Older or disabled persons bus pass | Essex County Council (essexhighways.org)

Southend-on-Sea City Council

When your pass expires it will be renewed automatically and you should get your new one before the old one expires.

More info: Apply for an older person's bus pass – Southend-on-Sea City Council

Thurrock Council

If you have an Older Person's Bus Pass, it will be renewed automatically, so you don't need to take any action. The council will handle the renewal process for you.

If you have a Disabled Person's Bus Pass, the council will send you a letter along with a renewal application form automatically. You can use the renewal application form provided in the letter, or you can use the application form available on their website if you prefer.

More info: Renewing, updating or cancelling a bus pass | Bus passes for older and disabled people | Thurrock Council

What if my address has changed?

Essex County Council Bus Pass

If your address has changed, you will need to call 0345 200 0388 or you can amend your details on the website.

For more information, please call 0345 200 0388 or email help@canigetapass.org.uk

Southend-on-Sea City Council Bus pass

If you change your address within Southend you need to contact the bus pass department with proof of your new address. If you move away from Southend you need to return your current pass and re-apply for a new pass from the Authority in the area you are moving to.

More info: Apply for an older person's bus pass – Southend-on-Sea City Council

Thurrock Council Bus Pass 

If you have changed address over the last 2 years and your bus pass is about to run out. Please use the application form to send your new details no later than 1 calendar month before the end of your bus pass.

More info: Renewing, updating or cancelling a bus pass | Bus passes for older and disabled people | Thurrock Council