ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) bus service’s Board of Directors has approved sweeping service reductions for fall as the agency faces a significant driver shortage, covered in further depth here.

The cuts will take effect on Aug. 21, and extend at least to Jan. 21, 2023. A press release from the agency called the vote “reluctant.” Board members have emphasized that the cuts are necessary in order to keep the still-existing routes on a reliable schedule and trying to mitigate the chances for delays.

The following cuts or tweaks were approved:

  • Route 82 (Cornell Campus): Reduces frequency to every 30 minutes from every 15 minutes.
  • Route 11 (IC/South Hill/Commons):Weekday service to run hourly all day, as opposed to half-hour service offered last spring. Eliminates most extra half-hour trips during AM and PM peak. Last trip to depart earlier from Green St. Station at 9:05 p.m. Saturday: Last trip to depart earlier from Green St. Station at 10:25 p.m. Sunday: Eliminates first (9:08 a.m.) trip.
  • Route 13 (Fall Creek/Commons): Eliminates several trips due to linked trips being cut. (Note: riders in Northside and Fall Creek neighborhoods are urged to use route 17.)
  • Route 20 (Enfield/Commons): Eliminates Sunday service. On weekdays, eliminates both the 10 a.m. trip departing Green St. and the 10:28 a.m. trip departing Enfield.

More information will be available later on Aug. 18 on the TCAT website.

The press release further announced at least some measure of good news regarding the preservation of some routes.

  • Route 90 (Cornell Campus): The original proposal was for the last trip Mon.-Sat. to end before 11 p.m., but planners were able to extend it to 1:12 a.m. (As with the original proposal, Sunday service will end earlier with the last trip departing the Commons at 10:38 p.m.)
  • Route 92 (Cornell Campus): The original proposal was for the last Mon.-Sat. trips, to depart Hasbrouck Apts. at 10:30 p.m. and from Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at 10:46 p.m. Planners were able to extend those trips to three hours later. (As with original proposal, service will start later on Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. from Hasbrouck Apt., and 10:16 a.m. from Schwartz.)

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com