TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) will be waiving its bus fees on Tuesday, Nov. 3, hoping to provide more people with transportation to polling places on Election Day.

The agency, which went fare-free for months over the summer in recognition of the tough economic times faced by nearly the entire country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, stated in its announcement that lack of accessible transportation should not be a barrier to voting.

“In these difficult times, public transit agencies continue to support our communities, and providing free service on this important day is the least we can do,” General Manager Scot Vanderpool said. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the move, which is similar to what public transit agencies in other parts of the country have done to promote voting access.

County polling locations are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day, and TCAT will be taking its normal routes around the county. Most but not all of the election locations are serviced by TCAT routes, so check beforehand. The list of voting locations is here and the map of TCAT routes is here and here.

Riders should wear a face covering and practice social distance while riding.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com