Basic Cash Fares

To pay fares in cash, simply drop $1.50 into the silver farebox by the driver. Please make sure you have the exact cash fare as drivers are not able to make change. The cost of a single ride is as follows-


Fare Type Cost
Adult (Ages 18-59) $1.50
Youth (Ages 6-17) $0.75
Seniors (Ages 60+) $0.75
Persons with disabilities $0.75


The easiest way to pay your bus fare is to purchase a Tcard. Tcards can be purchased and refilled online at the TCAT store, at the TCAT office (737 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850), over the phone at (607) 277-RIDE, or a prefilled card (1-Day, Monthly, 15-Ride Passes) can be purchased from an approved vendor.


You can get your Tcard either as a card with a magnetic strip or as a fob key that uses a RFID proximity chip for an extra $4.00. The card is convenient for fitting into your wallet, but the fob key is great for attaching to your keychain or lanyard. To pay your fare with the card, you must swipe your card at the black farebox with the magnetic strip facing inside the bus (and the yellow/orange graphics facing the door). To pay your fare with the fob, you must tap your fob on the chip reader at the black farebox.

You can add different types of passes onto your Tcard. The first type of passes are length-based passes, ranging from 1 Day to an unlimited number of days, that entitle you to unlimited rides anywhere in the TCAT system for the duration of your pass, counting from the first day that the pass is used. The second type are ride-based passes. These passes never expire, but entitle you to only the specified number of rides you purchase. Please note that each ride is a one-way trip. Thus, a roundtrip ride would cost two rides. If you are a frequent rider, we suggest you purchase either type of pass because the cost you pay per ride decreases as you purchase a longer duration/higher ride pass.

Pricing (Length-Based):

Pass Type/Duration Cost
1 Day Pass $3.00
2-Day Pass $6.00
5-Day Pass $15.00
Weekly Pass $17.50
Monthly Pass $45.00
Annual Pass $450.00


If those durations do not work for you, our length-based passes are also customizable! You may purchase a pass that lasts for however many number of days you need.

Pass Type/Duration Cost
1-6 Consecutive Days $3.00/day
7-30 Consecutive Days $2.50/day
31-364 Consecutive Days $1.50/day
365+ Consecutive Days $1.25/day

Pricing (Ride-Based):

Pass Type/Duration Cost
1-14 Adult Rides $1.50/ride
15+ Adult Rides $1.33/ride


Some of our more popular pass types include:
Pass Type/Duration Cost
15-Ride Pass $20.00
15-Ride Pass Half-Fare (Youth, Seniors, see below) $10.00


Pass costs are cut in half for youth riders (Ages 6-17), seniors (Ages 60+), Medicare cardholders, and those who are disabled. Please see the bottom of this page for more details.

To view your Tcard balance, you can either check online, call the TCAT office at (607) 277-RIDE, or look at the display on the bus farebox when you swipe your card/tap your fob.

Riders are highly encouraged to register their Tcards. If you ever lose your pass or fob, registering your card allows TCAT to look up your lost card, authenticate your identity, and transfer your balance from the old card/fob to the replacement. Replacement fobs cost $4.00.

If your Tcard or fob does not work because of some technical error, please call (607) 277-RIDE and we will investigate the situation and do our best to rectify any mistakes.

Youth Passes

Discounted, school-year friendly unlimited ride passes that can be loaded onto Tcards or fobs are available for youths aged 17 and younger.

Pass Type/Duration Cost
Fall Semester – 8/15 through 1/30 $30
Spring Semester – 2/1 through 6/30 $30
Summer Fun – 6/27 through 9/6 $50

To prove eligibility, you must either present a valid student ID

College Students

Use your student ID at the farebox.
Enjoy special pricing and added convenience by having bus privileges loaded right onto your student ID card.
Additional information is available on the College Students page.

Cornell University

All registered Cornell students receive unlimited rides on all TCAT buses after 6 p.m. weekdays, and anytime Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, all students in their first year at Cornell receive unlimited rides on all TCAT buses 24/7. Students pay no fare when using their CU ID card at the fare box. Please note: Students must remain registered in order for their privileges to remain active. The CU ID card is the fare medium and must be presented at the farebox (Read electronically) in order to ride at no cost.

Further information.

Ithaca College

Ithaca College students may purchase a bus pass that can be loaded onto their student ID card. The bus pass entitles the student to receive unlimited rides. The Ithaca College ID card is the fare medium and must be presented at the farebox (Read electronically) in order to ride.

Pass Type/Duration Cost
15-Ride Pass $15
Monthly Pass $30
Fall Semester 8/1 through 12/31 $110
Spring Semester 1/1 through 5/31 $110
Summer Semester 6/1 through 8/18 $45                                         

All IC employees are eligible for free TCAT service.


TC3 students may purchase a bus pass that can be loaded onto their student ID card. The bus pass entitles the student to receive unlimited rides. The TC3 ID card is the fare medium and must be presented at the farebox (Read electronically) in order to ride.

Pass Type/Duration Cost
Fall Semester 8/20 through 12/20 $110
Spring Semester 1/20 through 5/20 $110
Summer Semester 5/21 through 8/10 $55


Additional Fare Information

If you pay your fare in cash and need more than one bus route to get you to your destination, transfer slips are available at no additional cost. You should request a transfer from the Bus Operator when you pay the fare or use a transfer slip. Riders are allowed up to two transfers to complete their trip. Transfers are good for a continuous one way trip on the day of issue and will only be honored on the next available bus. They will not be accepted on any trip that will return the passenger to the area in which the transfer was originally issued, nor to re-board the same route.

Day or semester pass holders do not need a transfer slip. Simply swipe your card again.

TCAT Military Personnel Fare Policy

Active Duty Military and Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) students ride free. You must demonstrate military service by either being dressed in an official U.S.-issued military formal or informal uniform and/or presenting a current military ID.


Children five years old and younger ride free and must be accompanied by a responsible adult (up to three children per adult).

Half-fare for Senior Citizens, Medicare cardholders and Persons w/ Disabilities

Persons 60 years old or older, medicare cardholders, persons with a disability and those currently receiving SSI, SSD, or disabled veterans benefits are eligible to pay half-fare on the TCAT bus. (This does not apply to Gadabout or ADA paratransit services.) The bus operator may ask for proof of eligibility. Acceptable forms of proof of eligibility are your Medicare card, Senior Citizen’s Discount Card, drivers’ license or your TCAT half-fare identification card (purple card).

If you have a disability that prevents you from using the TCAT bus, then you may be eligible for complementary paratransit, a specialized, door-to-door transport service for people who are not able to ride the fixed-route transit system because of a disability.

Please see our ADA/Accessibility section for more information.