ITHACA, N.Y. –– Bridgette Brady was named chairperson for the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) Board of Directors on Jan. 23.

Brady is the senior director of Cornell University’s transportation and delivery services, and has served on the TCAT board since 2015. She replaces Ducson Nguyen, Ithaca Common Council Ward 2 alderperson.

Prior to joining Cornell, Brady served as transportation services director at Washington State University where she, “worked to transform a car-centric culture into one that embraces alternative transportation.”

“Transportation is in my DNA, but I also have a strong passion for leadership,” Brady said after formally taking the position, adding that she embraces a “servant-leadership” style, telling the board and staff, “I am here to work for you.”

In addition to Brady, TCAT’s other board officer in 2020 is Laura Lewis, Ithaca Common Council Ward 5 alderperson, who was named secretary-treasurer. Lewis joined the board last year upon the recommendation of the city.

The TCAT board includes representatives from the City of Ithaca, Tompkins County and Cornell University, as all three serve as the primary local funders. TCAT was established as a joint venture of transit agencies from each in 1998, and later became a private, not-for-profit corporation in 2005.

The chairperson rotates each year to give equal voice to all three parties represented. The other board members are Frank Proto, former Tompkins County legislator, Deborah Dawson, Tompkins County legislator for District 10, Jennifer Dotson, executive director for Ithaca Carshare, Dan Klein, Tompkins County legislator for District 7, Gary Stewart, associate vice-president, Cornell University Community Relations and Denise Thompson, manager of Cornell’s Off-Campus Living.

“Bridget brings a great business perspective to the table. She has all those years of transportation experience, she’s a hard worker and she’s always on top of things,” said Scot Vanderpool, general manager of TCAT. “She’s the kind of person that will keep our board on task…keep everyone focused on priorities that we have.”

In 2020 TCAT will be working on finding funding for their facility move to airport. Vanderpool said TCAT will be applying to state and federal grants to fund a portion of the move.

In addition, TCAT will look to improve customer service in the coming months. Vanderpool said bus shortages have led to missed trips, but that in 2020, TCAT will strive to address maintenance concerns within their current fleet and improve communication with customers.

TCAT’s long-anticipated First Mile, Last Mile initiative is also coming to fruition in 2020, as Dryden is on track to become the first pilot location for the program this spring. The program, which has officially been named ‘T-Connect’ will coordinate with Gadabout HyperCommute, and Way2Go to take riders in areas ‘beyond a reasonable walking distance’ to the existing bus route 43 and up to 2 miles from downtown Dryden. T-Connect is a two-year project funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA.)

Vanderpool said he thinks that Brady is a good fit for TCAT going into the new year.

“She’s going to be able to keep everyone focused and moving in the right direction,” he said.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com