It’s a bit unusual, but TCAT planners this year are dividing TCAT’s fall service period into two phases to give them more flexibility in improving service sooner rather than later with the impending arrival of nine new replacement buses.
The first phase will be from Sun., Aug. 25, through Sat., Oct. 26, followed by a second phase from Sun., Oct. 27, through Sat., Jan., 18. Traditionally, both fall and winter/spring service periods during the academic year are each designed for 4- ½ months.
Instead of waiting for winter service in January, TCAT’s service development team opted for a midway redesign to plug in any service gaps. And by that time they will have more confidence in knowing TCAT’s increasing unreliable older buses – a big chunk of its 50-plus fleet – will be swapped out with nine brand new road-ready New Flyer 40-foot buses to replace increasingly unreliable old buses. At a cost of about $4 million, TCAT will take possession of the new buses next month after which time it will take a few weeks for the maintenance crew to install GPS and fare box equipment. Finally, the buses must be examined and pass muster from NYSDOT inspectors before they can go into service.
“A second fall service period will allow us to adjust the schedules and add more capacity if we see problems developing in early fall,’’ said Assistant General Manager Matt Yarrow, who oversees TCAT’s transit development and planning.
As with every fall season marking the start of the academic year, TCAT planners have made a number of timing changes and other adjustments, including adding more service, to balance resources available with meeting the travel needs of thousands of new and returning students to local campuses.
For route updates and to plan their trips, passengers should refer to online schedules and maps, as well as the Fall 2019 TCAT Schedules & Service Guide, all of which will be available at www.tcatbus.com. TCAT urges riders to take advantage of TCAT’s Bus Tracker and to download its trip-planning and real- time apps. Printed ride guides will also be available at TCAT bus shelters, including Green St. Station, Seneca St. Station. Those who wish to have printed ride guides or individual schedules and maps mailed to them can call (607) 277-RIDE (7433) or email TCAT at email@example.com, or stop by the front desk at TCAT, 737 Willow Ave., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. TCAT will update schedules online and in print in advance of the second part of the fall period starting Sun., Oct. 27.
Also starting Aug. 25, TCAT will launch:
- As announced earlier this summer, a simplified and more equitable fare structure that will make riding the bus more affordable for riders boarding outside the Greater Ithaca area. Click here for more information.
- Improved service for Ithaca College students who will now have three Route 11s to include a day (11), night (11N) and weekend shopper (11S) routes. The shopper route has long been requested by the IC community and will give students direct trips to popular southwest shopping outlets, including Wegmans and Walmart. “TCAT’s engagement with the Ithaca College community in 2018 provided clear support of the idea of a South Hill-Downtown-Southwest shopping route,” Yarrow said. “This route will provide that service as well as complement the busy route 15 (existing southwest shopper service) on weekends.”
Please note: College construction will continue through November. Routes 10, 30, 32, 51, 70 and 72 are being rerouted accordingly.
All fall route schedules and maps:
- Route 10: Timing changes to cluster buses before morning class times to provide capacity when and where needed.
- Route 11, 11N & 11S: Two new configurations of the route 11 will provide more customized service to South Hill and Ithaca College at night on weekends:
- Route 11 will operate Mon. through Fri. until just after 9 p.m.
- Route 11N is a night night-time route that will connect South Hill and IC with the Commons and Collegetown. It will operate hourly Mon-Wed and every 30 minutes Thurs-Sat.
- Route 11S replaces the previous route 11 weekend service.
- Route 13: Minor timing changes. Outbound service to Stewart Park will be demand only. Please let the driver know when you board that Stewart Park is your destination.
- Route 14 & 14S: No changes to route 14, but route 14S has minor timing changes on the first three trips on weekdays to avoid overlap with the route 14.
- Route 15: Three half-hour Saturday trips were removed because the new route 11S will provide a very similar service. For more convenient weekend access to shopping, look to use both the 15 and 11S.
- Route 17: Numerous timing changes.
- Route 20: Third trip will serve West Campus.
- Route 22: Summer-only weekday route ends Fri., Aug. 23. Last day for Sat. service is Aug. 24. Stay tuned for next summer.
- Route 21: Minor timing adjustments.
- Route 30: College Ave. detour will continue: outbound service rerouted to Ithaca Rd. to Oak Ave. and inbound service detoured onto Dryden Rd.; to Elmwood Ave.; to Ithaca Rd. Weekend service returns for academic year.
- Route 31: Added a 9 p.m. outbound trip due to rider input. No 4:30 pm nor 5:30 pm trip through Oct. 26. Added 9 p.m. trip.
- Route 32: Outbound service to Northwood added in the p.m. College Ave detour on Ithaca Rd. and Hoy Rd. will continue.
- Route 36: Added short trips inbound in the a.m. to form better connections between northern Fall Creek neighborhood and Cornell. TCAT will gauge success, based on ridership. Minor timing adjustments.
- Route 37: Timing adjustments to improve on-time performance. Fourth trip will serve West Campus/ Baker flagpole.
- Route 41: Mid-day trip adjusments.
- Route 43: Minor timing adjustments. Inbound express in p.m. will stop in Varna due to rider input.
- Route 51: Service along Maple Ave on weekends will be discontinued for the academic year.
- Route 52: Fourth trip will serve West Campus. Last two trips inbound will end at the Vet School and continue downtown as a route 67. Minor timing adjustments.
- Route 53– No changes
- Route 65– Aurora St. detour ends, and route will no longer run on Hudson St., resulting in route timing changes. The Danby Park n’ Ride now officially moved to Dotson Park, across the street from Danby Town Hall.
- Route 67: Minor timing adjustments.
- Route 70: College Ave.detour will continue: outbound service runs on Ithaca Rd. to Oak Ave., and inbound service runs on Dryden Rd.; to Elmwood Ave.; to Ithaca Rd.
- Route 72: Outbound service to Northwood added in the p.m. College Ave. detour on Ithaca Rd. and Hoy Rd. will continue.
- Route 74: One trip added on Saturday due to rider feedback. Minor timing adjustments.
- Route 75: No changes.
- Route 77: No changes.
- Route 81: Due to North Campus construction, trip times have been adjusted. TCAT added off-peak direction trips on the schedule.
- Route 82: Trips after 10 a.m will operate every 11 minutes instead of every 10 minutes. TCAT expects this to be a temporary change until the end of the first part of fall service ending Oct. 26.
- Route 83: Change in route alignment: the 83 will now travel between North Campus and Central Campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. TCAT advises West Campus riders to use route 10, the route 36 and specific trips of the routes 20, 37, and 52 that will serve Baker Flagpole in the a.m. on weekdays.
- Route 90: Change in route alignment. For those who previously used route 90 to travel between Downtown and Collegetown or Cornell at night, please refer to the 11N. Connections between the 11N and the 90 will be available at Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.
- Route 92: Route returns to academic year service.
- Route 93: Route returns to academic year service.