Transportation issues are identified as a problem for Tompkins' aging population. Above, a TCAT bus.

Ithaca, N.Y. — New York’s senators are pushing to get a $10.7 million federal grant for Ithaca’s bus system.

TCAT’s current budget is $2.5 million, according to the bus service’s website.

On Monday, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand  announced their new effort to get the funding from the federal Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery) program.

The press release about the new effort announced that:

“[The grant] … would be used to transform the key transit routes of Stewart Avenue and College Avenue in the Collegetown commercial area near Cornell University, as well as Cayuga Street and Albany Street.

The funding would be used to turn those streets into ‘Complete Streets’ with wider sidewalks, improved transit facilities, bike lanes, and green infrastructure.

As part of the project, The City of Ithaca would also integrate new technology into its bus transit operation that will enable the city to provide real-time transit information to passengers, such as vehicle locations and arrival estimates to passengers.

This federal funding would help transform the City of Ithaca’s bus and overall transportation system by redeveloping the downtown pedestrian mall into a major transportation hub, complete with wider sidewalks, improved bus facilities and new bike lanes,” said Senator Schumer.

This grant would revitalize the Collegetown, Cornell University corridor and update the communications systems that allow passengers to see when buses are arriving and departing. This will not only encourage more residents and visitors to take advantage of bus transportation, but it will also make transit in the City of Ithaca safer and more efficient.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.