Parent Translink
Founded 1967
Headquarters Central Station, East Bridge Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Service type Bus service, Coach
Stations 22
Fleet Volvo B10M
Volvo B7R
Scania L94
Optare Solo
Volvo B9TL
Volvo B7TL
Volvo B5TL
Volvo B10BLE
Scania K114
Volvo B12B
Volvo B12M
Volvo B7RLE
Scania K230
Dennis Dart SLF
Scania K320
Mercedes-Benz O405N
Operator Translink
Website Translink/Ulsterbus
Leyland Leopard 235 (WOI 2235) Express in Alexander (Belfast) X-Type bodywork. The Leopard was extremely common on Northern Irish roads for over 40 years

Ulsterbus is a public transport operator in Northern Ireland and operates bus services outside Belfast. It is part of Translink (the brand name for the subsidiary operating companies of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company – NITHCo), which also includes Northern Ireland Railways, Metro Belfast and Flexibus.

A bus pass for student who live three miles away from their school. This bus pass is for student in Royal School Dungannon
A Volvo B7TL with Alexander Dennis Alexander ALX400 in Dungannon


Ulsterbus is responsible for most of the province-wide bus services in Northern Ireland. It operates twenty-two bus stations (several of which, such as those at Belfast Europa and Bangor, form integrated transport interchanges with Northern Ireland Railways stations) and 1,100 buses.[1] Ulsterbus is charged with transporting over 65,000 children per day to school. Every July and August, around 250 vehicles are usually de-taxed. This is because not as many are needed for service due to schools finishing for summer holidays.

Ulsterbus is now in the process of modernising its fleet for better accessibility for disabled people. On 26 June 2006, Translink announced that the Leyland Leopard, synonymous with Ulsterbus, will be phased out of service.[2] These are being replaced by the Optare Solo bus, amongst others.


Goldline is the name given to the inter-city bus services operated by Ulsterbus. Until the 1990s it Goldline was called Ulsterbus Express and operated many of the same inter-city services as today. The Belfast-Derry service was relaunched as the Maiden City Flyer with eight new coaches in 1990, and has seen major expansion over the years: Belfast-Derry went from a thrice daily service in 1990 to half-hourly now,[3] and many services have been expanded and introduced. Goldline services are operated from Belfast to major destinations in Northern Ireland, plus the Goldline Express Services X1/X2 (previously Service 200) to Dublin (via Dublin Airport). This service is worked jointly with Bus Éireann service X1 (previously Service 001).

List of Major Goldline Services:[4]

200/001/X1/X2 Belfast - Banbridge - Dublin

209/210 Belfast - Cookstown

212/X212 Belfast - Derry/Londonderry (Maiden City Flyer)

215 Belfast - Downpatrick

218/9 Belfast - Antrim - Ballymena - Coleraine

234 Derry~Londonderry - Limivady - Coleraine

237 Belfast - Newcastle

238/238a Belfast - Newry

240 Newry - Newcastle - Downpatrick

250/251 Belfast - Craigavon - Armagh

256 Belfast - Larne

261 Belfast - Dungannon - Enniskillen

273 Belfast - Omagh - Derry/Londonderry

Crossborder Goldline Services:

X1/X2 Belfast - Dublin Airport - Dublin (Conjunction with Bus Éireann X1)

X4/274 Derry/Londonderry - Dublin Airport - Dublin City (Conjunction with Bus Éireann 33)

270/271 Belfast - Armagh - Cavan

There are also a number of cross-channel (North Channel) services to Britain, operated in partnership with National Express[5] under the Eurolines banner.

Ulsterbus Foyle

Main article: Ulsterbus Foyle

For many years, Derry's internal bus network was operated as Ulsterbus's Derry City Services. It was reorganised in September 2006 into Ulsterbus Foyle.[6] In the same way that Translink Metro was used to modernise routes in Belfast the Ulsterbus Foyle network now offers 13 set routes across the city into the popular suburban areas of the city. It is hoped that the new service will make transportation in Northern Ireland's second city a lot easier and will encourage people to make use of Derry's public transport system; meantime, regional services between Derry and other towns and villages were rebranded as Londonderry County services, sharing a district manager with Ulsterbus Foyle.


Ulsterbus operate the "University Link" service between the two main campuses of Northern Ireland's largest universities, Queens University of Belfast, and University of Ulster at the Jordanstown campus.

Private/Contract hire

Ulsterbus offer a private and contract hire service, with virtually any type of bus in the current fleet available for hire. On a local basis, depots will allocate buses accordingly, but in the Belfast area dedicated 'Ulsterbus Tours' buses operate. Duties include Eurolines duties 920 (Belfast – Manchester, Birmingham, London), 921 (Belfast – Preston, Manchester, Birmingham), & 923 (Belfast – Glasgow, Edinburgh).[7] The 921 is currently operated by three dedicated Irizar Centurys purchased in 2010 (130–132); however, these are being replaced in August 2013, by three tri-axle Scania/Irizar i6s numbered 136–138. These are based in Stranraer.

Overall the tour pool operates about 30 buses for use on Day Tours, Eurolines work and private hire. The vast majority of these are based in Glengall St, operating out of Great Victoria Street depot.

Day tours

Ulsterbus operate "day tours" to other parts of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland; mainly shopping and to some tourist attractions. They also have a private hire service which is in regular use by fans of the Scottish Premier League side Celtic FC and Rangers going from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

An Ulsterbus calling at a bus shelter in Downpatrick.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ulsterbus.


  1. About Ulsterbus Ulsterbus.co.uk – Retrieved on 3 March 2009
  2. "End of era as leopard becomes extinct". BBC News. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  3. Buses in Ulster Volume 6: Ulsterbus and Citybus 1988–2003
  4. http://www.translink.co.uk/Services/Goldline/Timetables/
  5. http://www.nationalexpress.com/eurolines/destinations/ireland.cfm
  6. The launch of Ulsterbus Foyle Link to press release for the launch of Ulsterbus Foyle. Retrieved 22 September 2006.
  7. List of Eurolines routes

External links

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