UPDATED Aug. 7, 2020
Tconnect app-based, on-demand service to start Aug. 30 in the Lansing/Etna area
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the launch of the app-based, on-demand Tconnect weekday pilot service in Dryden likely until spring of 2021 or when ridership is robust enough to support full-scale service there.
But instead of putting the brakes on the project until ridership can support it in Dryden, TCAT is rolling out a modified weekend version of Tconnect in the Lansing-Etna area starting Sun., Aug. 30 to replace its weekend routes 74 and 77. This will enable the state-funded project to move ahead and for TCAT and its partners, including app-developer Urban Mobility, Inc., a chance to refine its HyperCommute software and for project managers to analyze Tconnect’s overall service capabilities.
As with the Dryden model, Tconnect will transport riders in the Ithaca area’s northeast covering portions of Triphammer Road, Warren Road, the Winston Court areas or so-called “Cigarette Alley, Hanshaw Road (including Hanshaw Village; Lower Creek Road, Sapsucker Woods Road and Etna Road. See map and schedule here. Riders in this areas will be able to schedule trips in advance and to be picked up or dropped off at or near their homes as part of the so-called “first-mile, last-mile” solution to provide transportation to those in low-density areas and who live too far from a bus route. They will be able to make connections using route 30/70 at its main bus stop at the Shops at Ithaca Mall that offers frequent service to and from downtown and Cornell. Riders can transfer onto other routes that are operating within the TCAT service area.
The Lansing/Etna Tconnect service is also designed to enable northeast residents to simply travel within that service area that in addition to the malls, other destinations to include the U.S. Postal Service, Tompkins County Public Safety (Sheriff’s office/jail) and the shopping areas, the SPCA, the Lab of Ornithology.
Instead of using buses and drivers from Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc. as it will for the Dryden service, Tconnect in Lansing/Etna will be served by smaller 35 foot TCAT buses. Tconnect service will be offered from 7:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and then 1:35 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Users will be charged regular TCAT cash fares or fare media or IDs loaded with ride privileges. TCAT will operate the service at least through the end of its fall service period on Sat., Nov. 28 and, depending on ridership, will extend it through its winter and spring service period and beyond.
Riders will soon be able to downloand the the HyperCommute app on their iPhones on the App Store or an Android phone on Google Play to subscribe and to schedule rides For those who don’t have a smartphone, rides can be scheduled by calling (607) 277-7433 (RIDE).
TCAT’s project partners include Way2Go, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s transportation education program; paratransit provider Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc., in addition to Urban Mobility, creators of HyperCommute, a multimodal shared transportation software platform. The project is being funded with a $260,000 grant from the NYSERDA.
How to contact us:
Interested in learning more? We’d love to hear from you!
Phone: (607) 277-9388 ext. 560
Some background about Tconnect?
Essentially, Tconnect is designed to help rural residents access TCAT’s existing bus service. As mentioned above, it allows users to schedule a trip either on a smaller TCAT as it will for the Lansing/Etna service or for the Dryden service, a Gadabout minibus. Trips can be scheduled using a mobile app or by calling the Tconnect office. The app will provide real-time vehicle location information for both the Gadabout and TCAT buses, assisting users in seamlessly transferring between services.
The goals of this project are to:
- Increase rural access to public transportation
- Reduce transportation barriers in Tompkins County
- Reduce the number of drive alone vehicles coming into Ithaca
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
To see pre-pandemic press release click here
Below is an earlier Video of the presentation to help give a better understanding of what Tconnect will look like when it is launched in Dryden.
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