ITHACA, N.Y. –– After announcing a new incentive program in November that aims to limit vehicles traveling and parking downtown, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance has announced that they are expanding membership and benefit availability for those that choose alternative transportation.

As the Green Street Garage and the Seneca Street Garage approach inevitable demolition, the City of Ithaca has been focused on preemptively meeting their new parking needs and reducing traffic congestion as the downtown economy grows. Using a state grant, the city has contracted the DIA to enact a “Transportation Demand Management Program”, or TDMP to facilitate alternative modes of transportation which could free up parking and reduce congestion.

The TDMP has been dubbed “GO ITHACA” and since February has offered downtown employee members free “backup” rides home, free TCAT passes and Ithaca Carshare credits. To grow the program, benefits including the backup ride home, discounts on monthly and occasional parking, financial credits towards an Ithaca Carshare membership, a gift certificate towards the purchase of active commuter wear and accessories, carpool matching, and more have been extended to any downtown resident or employer who signs up.

The incentive is even sweeter for downtown employers who will receive additional perks such as a free one-year Carshare Business Membership for signing up.

“During the first couple of months of this program, we received a tremendous response from downtown employees. Now, we’re including employers and residents in our special transportation deals and informative and educational resources so that everyone can enjoy affordable and sustainable transportation while improving the environment,” GO ITHACA Program Manager Lauren Gabuzzi said.

To join GO ITHACA and receive transportation deals and rewards, downtown Ithaca employers, employees and residents pledge to use a more efficient mode of transportation at least once per week for their commute or to complete errands in the downtown community, or, if they already live a car-lite/car-free lifestyle, they pledge to maintain it. To complete the program pledge and register for the program, visit goithaca.org.

“We’re now offering transportation benefits to everyone because we know how hard the pandemic has hit our city and we want to support everyone in being able to access reliable and sustainable modes of transportation. We help our members accomplish this by educating them about the many commuter benefits and efficient transportation options available in the community and providing them with transportation benefits so they may sample affordable, sustainable and greener methods of travel for their daily commute and/or errands,” Gabuzzi said.

For more information, visit the GO ITHACA website, email support@goithaca.org, call (607) 277-8679 or check out their Facebook Page.

Anna Lamb

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