UPDATED Aug. 20, 2020
Tconnect app-based, on-demand service to start Aug. 30 in the Lansing/Etna area
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the launch of the app-based, on-demand Tconnect weekday pilot service in Dryden, likely until spring of 2021 or when ridership is robust enough to support full-scale service there.
But instead of putting the brakes on the project until ridership can support it in the Village of Dryden and surrounding area, TCAT is rolling out a modified weekend version of Tconnect to center on a portion of the Lansing-Etna area starting Sun., Aug. 30. See schedule here. This new service will replace weekend routes 74 and 77. (Route 40 will continue to serve Groton 7 days a week.)
Launching Tconnect in the Lansing/Etna area will enable the NYSERDA-funded project to move forward. It will give TCAT’s project partner, Urban Mobility, Inc., a chance to refine its HyperCommute software, and for project managers to analyze Tconnect’s overall service capabilities.
Coverage area includes Triphammer Road; N. Warren Road; the Winston Court area or so-called “Cigarette Alley;” Hanshaw Road (including Hanshaw Village); Lower Creek Road, Sapsucker Woods Road and Etna Road (See map on left).
Riders will be able to schedule trips in real time between 7:35 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 1:35 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to travel to destinations to include the Shops at Ithaca Mall, Cayuga Mall, the U.S. Postal Service and the Tompkins County Public Safety (Sheriff’s office/jail).
Or riders can make connections using the route 30/70 bus stop at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, which run to the Commons and Cornell. From the route 30, which operates 7 days a week, and route 70, which operates Sat. and Sun., riders can transfer onto other routes (at no extra cost) and complete their trips anywhere within the TCAT service area. Regular TCAT fares apply or $1.50 for adult single ride or half fare for youth 17 and under; seniors 60 and older; and persons with disabilities. (PLEASE NOTE: TCAT is fare free through Sat., Sept. 5.)
Instead of using buses and drivers from Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc. as it will for the Dryden-centered service, Tconnect in Lansing/Etna will be served by smaller 35 foot TCAT buses. TCAT will operate the service at least through the end of its fall service period on Sat., Nov. 28 and, depending on ridership, will extend it through its winter and spring service period and beyond.
Riders will soon be able to download the the HyperCommute app on their iPhones on the App Store or an Android phone on Google Play to subscribe and to schedule rides For those who don’t have a smartphone, rides can be scheduled by calling (607) 277-7433 (RIDE).
TCAT’s other project partners include Way2Go, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s transportation education program and paratransit provider Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc. The project is being funded with a $260,000 grant from the NYSERDA.
How to contact us:
Interested in learning more? We’d love to hear from you!
Some background about Tconnect?
Essentially, Tconnect is designed to help rural residents access TCAT’s existing bus service. As mentioned above, it allows users to schedule a trip either on a smaller TCAT as it will for the Lansing/Etna service or for the Dryden service, a Gadabout minibus. Trips can be scheduled using a mobile app or by calling the Tconnect office. The app will provide real-time vehicle location information for both the Gadabout and TCAT buses, assisting users in seamlessly transferring between services.
The goals of this project are to:
- Increase rural access to public transportation
- Reduce transportation barriers in Tompkins County
- Reduce the number of drive alone vehicles coming into Ithaca
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
To see pre-pandemic press release click here
Below is an earlier video presentation to give a better understanding of what Tconnect will look like when it is launched in Dryden.
Project in the news