Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) is seeking feedback from the public on proposed service reductions for fall service and will hold a virtual public hearing Aug. 15, 2022.

Labor and parts shortages are forcing TCAT to reduce service for its fall service period that runs Aug. 21 through Jan. 21, tentatively.

As with many transit agencies all across the country, TCAT currently has an insufficient number of available bus operators and is experiencing difficulty in recruiting mechanics. International supply chain challenges are also making it difficult for TCAT’s maintenance department to obtain parts to maintain and repair buses.

“TCAT and the entire transit industry are grappling with unprecedented worker shortages and are making the painful decisions in order to sustain and maintain reliability with the service we can provide,” said TCAT General Manager Scot Vanderpool.

The proposed reductions were determined by which trips had lower ridership, but TCAT planners are also calling to end services earlier to have the last departing trip run at 11 p.m.

A virtual public hearing is scheduled 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15, as per TCAT’s service reductions policy that requires public involvement in potential service reductions.

“We apologize to our riders and promise that, while we await supply chains to return to normal, we are not letting up on recruitment efforts that we began ramping up several months ago,” Vanderpool said. “As always, our aim is to offer optimal levels of service as intended for all of our customers.”

All planned route changes for the fall can be found here, but those routes requiring public input are as follows:

  • Route 82 (Cornell Campus) : Reduces frequency to every 30 minutes from every 15 minutes.
  • Route 90  (Cornell Campus): Service ends earlier. Last trip departs Seneca St. at 10:38 p.m., and from Robert Purcell Community Center at 10:57 p.m. 
  • Route 11 (IC/South Hill/Commons):Weekday service runs hourly all day. Eliminates most extra half-hour trips during AM and PM peak have been cut. Last trip departs Green St. at 9:05 pm. Saturday: Service ends earlier. Last trip departs Green St at 10:25pm. Sunday: First (9:08 am) trip cut.
  • Route 13 (Fall Creek/Commons): Eliminates several trips due to linked trips being cut. (Note: riders in Northside and Fall Creek neighborhoods can use route 17.)
  • Route 20 (Enfield/Commons): Eliminates Sunday service. On weekdays, eliminates the 10 a.m. trip  departing Green St. and the 10:28 a.m. trip departing Enfield. 
  • Route 92 (Cornell Campus)Monday – Saturday: Service ends earlier. Last trip departs from Hasbrouck at 10:30pm and from Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at 10:46pm. Saturday & Sunday: Service starts later in the morning. First trip departs Hasbrouck at 10:00am and from Schwartz CPA at 10:16am.

*(Please note that any reductions on low-frequency route may show a disproportionately large percent change.)

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...