Ride the Bus
Join over 3,000 local commuters for stressless, hands-free travel on TCAT. Read a book, catch up on knitting, talk with a friend. Take advantage of one of the best bus systems in the United States for a community of this size.
Is there a bus route near me?
There are a number of apps you can use to help you figure out which bus routes to use and to plan your trip.
There is also Gadabout for people with disabilities that prevent them from using a regular bus service.
Costs & Savings
If you commute regularly, you can see $100s a year in gas savings, $1000s if you can go car-free.
TCAT costs $1.50-$2.50, depending on where you board, with discounts for youth, seniors, and people on Medicare or with a disability. There are monthly and annual passes which reduce the fare for those ride regularly. (Students, staff and faculty from Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3, and employees from the City of Ithaca get free or discounted bus fares. Check with your employer to see if they provide this transportation benefit, or encourage them to do so).
You can buy passes at locations throughout the City.
When Allison “Alli” Sribarra and her husband first moved to Ithaca, Alli immediately found a carpool to work through Zimride. After moving to Danby carpooling proved challenging, and Alli turned to the bus for her commute.
Alli takes the bus four days a week, and on most days she brings her children—a two-year-old and a five-month-old—with her. “It’s not as hard as you might think it is, because TCAT and other people are just really, really helpful…the other people on the bus are always trying to help me juggle strollers.”
Taking the bus to and from work allows the Sribarras to remain a one-car family, which, according to AAA, saves them over $8,000 a year. By forgoing a second car, they also save about 4.75 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Additionally, Alli said taking the bus helps her with exercise, because she walks about a half a mile to the bus stop and back. “With two kids, walking to the bus is my only exercise,” she says.
“Driving is very isolating,” says Alli. “When I’m on the bus, sometimes I read, sometimes I chat with people on the bus.” Because Danby is a more rural part of Tompkins County, Alli says riding the bus has helped build relationships with the bus-riding regulars in Danby.
Riding the bus has also helped her build relationships with her children. “On days that I have my kids with me it’s a nice bonding time for us, because we’ll look out the windows or read a book,” she says.
When she stepped off the bus one summer morning, she leaned down to her two-year-old son Khai and said, “We’re lucky because we know how to take the bus, right?” Khai nodded and smiled. (Interview by Sarah Paez.)
- Can I put a bike on the bus? Yes. Watch this video to see how.
- Are buses wheelchair accessible? Yes. Watch this video to see how.
- I live outside Tompkins County. Can I still use the bus? Yes. Check out this list of Park & Ride locations, where you can park your car, or get a ride to, and catch the bus from there.
- Want to ride the bus but need a car on occasion? Try Ithaca Carshare or a taxi!
Find other questions and responses on TCAT’s website.