For those who don’t plan on being one of the 15,000 motorbikes on the ferries this TT, or those who plan on having a beverage or two and leaving the bikes at the campsite/hotel/car park for the evening, the Island has a great public transport network to help get you from A to TT!
The Isle of Man has an abundance of public transport, from the modern bus service to the heritage railways. Whilst the bus service can take you all over the Island, the railways are contained to the south and the east of the Island.
To use the public transport system, you need to know where you want to go as the fares are calculated based on where you are and your destination. Just hop on, say where you want to get off (“One to the grandstand please”) then you can pay with cash, contactless or a ‘Go Card’ that gives you unlimited travel around the Island.
Timetables are available in the form of a short booklet, available from buses, bus stations, trains and train stations, the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the airport or as a digital PDF.
To read the timetable, find the page that corresponds with the place you are, or you want to be and then make sure you’re looking at the correct day. Remember, Sunday service applies if you’re using the bus on a bank holiday.
SPECIAL TT BUS SERVICES
During the TT, a number of special bus services are run to bring TT fans to iconic TT locations.
This service travels from the South to the Grandstand.
This service travels from the Grandstand to Quarterbridge, Glen Vine, Crosby, Ballacraine, Laurel Bank, Cronk-y-Voddy, Kirk Michael, Ballaugh, Sulby and Ramsey.
This service travels from the Grandstand to the Creg-Ny-Baa
Find My Bus really does what it says on the tin - it’s the website that allows you to find in real time where your bus, tram or train is.
Updated every 10 seconds, you can find the bus you’re waiting for to find out how long it’s going to be, or you could find the bus you’re on to work out when you need to get off. Same goes for trams and trains.
Go explore cards are travel passes that entitle the user to discounted unlimited travel on the buses and railways. Available to buy online, at the welcome centre in the Sea Terminal or from the main bus stations in Douglas, Ramsey and Port Erin.
If you get a physical card, you have to pay £2 for the initial card, but you can keep it forever and use it next year – it’s basically a bonus souvenir.
You can get a range of tickets including:
- 1 day, adult, child or family: perfect if you’re not wanting travel every day; can be purchased on the bus, train or tram
- 3 day, adult, child or family: ideal for the weekender
- 5 day, adult, child or family: the one for those coming just for practice or race week
- 7 day, adult, child or family: the hard-core fans who are here for every second of the action
- 5 day heritage, adult, child or family: this one also includes free access to all of the Manx National Heritage attractions. This one is definitely good for those who want to make the most of the days free of racing, or if the weather forecast for racing is looking a little underwhelming…
There are some conditions to the Go Card, so read all the information on Bus Vannin’s Website.
If your bus or rail journeys are more adhoc or one-off, you can buy a ticket on the bus, train or tram with cash or contactless payment. If using cash, please try to have as close to the correct change as possible.
PUBLIC TRAVEL ROUTES AT A GLANCE
TRAVELLING SOUTH FROM DOUGLAS
To get down South, you can take a 1, 2, or 11 which go to Ballasalla, the airport, Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin.
Make your way to Douglas train station, a 10-minute walk from the Sea Terminal, and hop on one of the steam train carriages. There are generally no reserved seats. The steam trains are popular, especially during the summer months, so you might have to share a carriage with some other TT fans – a great way to meet fellow tourists and locals. You can buy a ticket at the train station or you can use a Go Card.
TRAVELLING NORTH FROM DOUGLAS
You can take the number 5, 6 or 3 from Douglas to Ramsey. The 5 goes West through Peel and more or less follows the TT course the entire way, so this is the one for those heading to Kirk Michael, Ballaugh and Sulby.
Alternatively, the 3 is faster and goes along the eastern coast road offering stunning views and passes through Onchan and Laxey.
If you want to get further North (that is to Andreas, Jurby or Bride), you will need to use the MANNgo app and the connect villages service, where you book the bus like an Uber. There are additional number 19 buses to the Transport and Motor Museums in Jurby during TT that depart from Ramsey.
The tram station is found at the northern end of Doulas Promenade. The tram heads north following the coast road offering impressive views and has many places to get off including Laxey to swap on to the mountain railway, which takes you to the Bungalow, and on to the summit, or Ramsey – perfect for those wishing to watch at Parliament Square. You can buy a tram ticket at the station or on the tram if you get on outside of the main stations of Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey.
TRAVELLING WEST FROM DOUGLAS
You can take the number 4, 5, or 6 to go West to Peel. The 5 and 6 follow the TT course and pass through St Johns, whilst the 4 goes through Foxdale and Niarbyl.