Transport subsidy and incentive schemes

If you have a permanent disability or mobility restriction that prevents you from using public transport, you may be eligible for the:

  • transport subsidy scheme (TSS)
  • lift incentive scheme (LIS).

Find out below if you can access the TSS and the LIS.

You should also read the NT TSS AND LIS information bulletin PDF (838.0 KB).

To access the TSS, you must be:

  • a Northern Territory (NT) resident
  • assessed by a health professional as having a permanent or long term disability (longer than six months)
  • unable to safely use public transport due to your disability.

Members receive an electronic smartcard that covers 50% of the total fare for the use of a taxi or minibus.

You then pay the remainder with cash, credit or debit card.

There are four levels of entitlement for the TSS - A, B, C and D.

Your individual circumstances will determine which one you're eligible for.

For more information, get the NT TSS and LIS information bulletin PDF (838.0 KB).

If you meet the eligibility for the TSS, you may also be eligible for the LIS.

To access the LIS, you must meet the same eligibility for the TSS and be reliant on a wheelchair.

For every journey you complete traveling in a wheelchair using a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAVs) such as a taxi or minibus, the LIS will provide a $20 incentive to the driver.

This payment is in recognition of the:

  • additional time taken to secure the wheelchair and passenger into the vehicle
  • potential travel time taken to commence the journey.

Eligible members can access up to 180 lift incentive credits per financial year for the use in WAVs.

The lift incentive is not transferable or redeemable for cash and is not to be used as part of the fare.

To apply, you must follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the transport subsidy scheme application PDF (899.4 KB) or call the TSS office on 08 8924 7229 to get one mailed to you.

Step 2. Complete part A.

Step 3. Attach two passport size photographs (one must be certified).

Step 4. Provide proof of NT residency, for example:

  • proof of residency at a care facility
  • electricity bill or council rates notice less than six months old
  • a photocopy of both sides of a current concession or health care card showing your residential address.

Step 5. Visit a medical practitioner or health professional and have them complete part B of the application.

Step 6. Submit the application and supporting documents by mail or email to:

Transport subsidy scheme office
GPO Box 2520
Darwin NT 0801

Your electronic smartcard stores your:

  • name
  • photo
  • card number
  • subsidy amount
  • card expiry date.

Your subsidy amount balance is updated every time you use your smartcard.

It's your responsibility to make sure:

  • the correct fare has been charged
  • you have sufficient funds to pay for the other half of the fare.

You can also ask the driver to check your subsidy amount balance before or after your journey.

If you can't provide your smartcard at any time, you must pay the full fare.

You must not allow someone else to use your smartcard, however your friends and family can travel with you on the same journey.

To use your smartcard, you must follow the below steps:

Step 1. Hand smartcard to driver

Upon payment, hand your smartcard to the driver to use on an EFTPOS machine.

The driver will deduct 50% of the total fare from your smartcard. You must then pay the other half using your own money.

Step 2. Ask driver for receipt

Once payment is complete, ask the driver for a receipt which will show your new subsidy amount balance, and take your smartcard with you.

You must never leave your smartcard with someone else.

If your smartcard is lost, stolen, damaged or not working

If your smartcard is lost, stolen or damaged, you must notify the TSS office immediately.

The office will cancel the lost card and arrange for a new card to be mailed to you.

It may take up to 15 working days for your new card to arrive.

During this time, you may be able to access the scheme using the emergency dockets back up system (if applicable).

If your smartcard is not working, the EFTPOS machine will provide prompts and information about the fault to the driver.

The driver will let you know what you must do next.

For more information, read the TSS EFTPOS terminal and receipt messages guide PDF (262.5 KB).

Before a smartcard payment is made, you must check the smartcard photo matches the passenger in the vehicle.

You can also check the smartcard amount balance at any time using the EFTPOS machine.

If the smartcard is damaged or faulty, the EFTPOS machine will provide prompts and information about the fault.

You should also refer to the TSS EFTPOS terminal and receipt messages guide PDF (262.5 KB).

How to complete a smartcard payment

To complete a smartcard payment, you can either:

  • tap and go by placing it over the face of the EFTPOS machine or
  • insert it in the EFTPOS machine and follow the instructions.

At the end of every journey, you must return the smartcard to the passenger with a receipt if requested.

If the EFTPOS machine is unavailable or their smartcard is faulty, you can use the emergency dockets backup system.

You can't use emergency dockets if their membership has:

  • been cancelled
  • expired
  • insufficient funds.

If the EFTPOS machine is faulty, you must repair it as soon as possible.

It's also your responsibility as the driver to ensure there are sufficient emergency dockets available in the vehicle.

How to claim a lift incentive credit

To get your payment for the incentive credit, you must follow the below steps:

Step 1. Fill in the vendor form with your details and nominated bank account:

Vendor form DOCX (65.1 KB)

Vendor form PDF (471.5 KB).

Step 2. Fill in the recipient created tax invoice agreement PDF (521.1 KB).

Step 3. Email the form and agreement to

Payments are made on a monthly basis.

If your details change, you must submit a new vendor form and tax invoice agreement.

Your smartcard won't work in other states and territories.

You will not be able to transfer your membership to or from other states and territories.

If you're travelling interstate on a short-term basis, you can request interstate vouchers valid for 50% subsidy.

You must do this at least 10 working days before you leave.

You can do this by contacting the TSS office.

If you're travelling with another person, you can still use your vouchers.


For more information, contact the TSS office by calling 08 89247229 or emailing

Last updated: 02 July 2021

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