Fixed Route Accessibility Solutions

The ADA requires bus operators to announce stops at all major intersections, transfer points and major destination points and to announce any stop requested by a passenger with a disability. If you need help, please tell the operator and explain what assistance is needed.

All TCAT buses are equipped with a wheelchair lift or ramp, which the driver will deploy upon request. If you are still unable to access the bus system, you may be eligible for ADA complementary paratransit.

Wheelchair Accessibility

TCAT fixed route buses are accessible to people using mobility aide devices. TCAT fixed route service will transport any mobility device that fits on the bus without compromising safety, damaging the bus or obstructing the aisle in a way that would prevent other passengers from safely walking past the device. Specific questions can be answered by calling the TCAT office at 607.277.7433

For Your Safety:

  • Riders in wheelchairs or similar mobility aides must be facing forward while the bus is in motion.
  • Wheelchairs must be secured to the floor of the bus.
  • We recommend wheelchair users use seatbelts or shoulder harnesses for additional safety.

Kneelers and Ramps

Our drivers will lower ramps and kneelers, or make other accommodations upon request for easier accessibility. You do not need to show proof of a disability to have the bus lowered.

Service Animals

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are allowed on buses. Service animals are animals that have been trained to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities. The bus operator may ask if the animal is a service animal and what tasks the animal has been trained to perform.

Service animals must be under control by the person with disabilities at all times, and must not occupy a seat and must either sit on the floor, or on the person’s lap. If the animal is not under the control of the owner or if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the operator may require the animal to leave the bus. Dogs that serve as comfort or therapy dogs are not considered service animals and must be in an enclosed animal carrier in order to be permitted on the bus.

Hailing Cards

TCAT provides hailing cards with Route numbers to help passengers easily notify bus operators which bus they wish to board. Hailing cards are available to persons with disabilities, or anyone who might wish to use them them, by contacting TCAT at: 277-9388 x420 (TTY: 277-9766) or

Accessible Schedules

All bus schedules are available in accessible formats (large print, braille) for persons with visual impairments. Call us at 607.277.9388, x420 or email

Announcing of Major Stops

It is the policy of the TCAT, Inc. to comply with the US Department of Transportation regulation 49 CFR Section 37.167.

On fixed route systems, the entity shall announce stops as follows:

  1. The entity shall announce stops at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along the route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location.
  2. The entity shall announce any stop upon request of an individual with a disability.
  3. Where vehicles or other conveyances for than one route serve the same stop, the entity shall provide a means by which an individual with a visual impairment or other other disability can identify the proper vehicle to enter or be identified to the vehicle operator as a person seeking a ride on a particular route.

Please note…

  • There are designated areas on the bus for passengers with disabilities using mobility aids. Such passengers have priority in these seating locations at all times.
  • Mobility aids must not block the aisle or interfere with the safety of other passengers. Wheelchair wheels must be locked before the bus is in motion.
  • Reduced rates are available for persons with disabilities. Click Here for more information on reduced rates.
  • Complementary Paratransit is provided to people who are not able to ride the fixed-route transit system because of a disability. Click here for more information on complementary paratransit.

Reasonable Modification Policy

TCAT, Inc. will provide reasonable modification of policy and practice upon request to ensure that our transportation services are accessible to people with disabilities.

Requests for reasonable accommodations may be made in advance via the following ways:

  • Email us at: tcat
  • Write TCAT, Inc.:
    737 Willow Ave.
    Ithaca, NY 14850
    Attn: Mike Smith, TCAT Operations Manager

More information can be found on the Federal Transit Administration website.

TCAT ADA / Civil Rights Complaint Procedure

Anyone who believes that Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc. (TCAT) discriminated against them and denied transportation due to a disability can file a complaint.

Complaints may be submitted to TCAT’s ADA Coordinator as follows:

  • By phone: (607) 277-9388 ext. 420
  • By email:
  • By mail via United States Postal Service:
    ADA Coordinator
    Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc.
    737 Willow Ave.
    Ithaca, NY 14850

TCAT investigates all ADA complaints received within 90 days of the alleged incident. Complaints may be submitted by phone, email, USPS or in person. The online complaint form can be downloaded here. You may contact TCAT at (607) 277-9388, ext. 420 to have a copy sent to you, which you can return to the above address.

Upon receipt of the complaint, TCAT will review the information and inform the complainant within 10 days that his or her complaint has been received. TCAT will have up to 30 calendar days to investigate the alleged incident. The complainant will have 10 business days from the date of the letter to submit information about the alleged incident. If the complainant does not submit the information, TCAT may close the case. Or, if the complainant does not wish to pursue his or her case, TCAT can administratively close the case.

As soon as the complaint has been reviewed, the investigator will issue one of two letters to the complainant: 1) a closure letter or 2) a letter of finding (LOF). A closure letter provides brief information about the allegation and states that there was no finding of an ADA violation. An LOF provides brief information about the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident. This letter explains what actions were taken. If the complainant wishes to appeal TCAT’s finding, he or she will have 10 business days to do so.