After a very successful pilot period during the fall semester, Transportation Services has announced its long term commitment to provide the Campus-to-Campus express bus service, which connects the Ithaca and New York City campuses of Cornell University. This service, initially aimed to meet the University’s business needs, has also enjoyed considerable popularity among students, with undergraduates and graduates comprising one quarter of last semester’s passengers.
“The initial idea was to better connect the upstate and downstate campuses” said David Jay Lieb ’89, communications and marketing manager for the Office of Transportation and Mail Services.
The Campus-to-Campus bus service will offer an express service (approximately a four to four-and-a-half hours travel time) between Cornell’s Ithaca Campus and the Cornell Club and Weil Medical College, the last two located in New York City.
“It’s a convenient travel option for Cornell faculty, staff and students and will undoubtedly support our goal of increasing research and educational linkages between the campuses.” said Lisa Staiano-Coico, associate dean and professor of the College of Human Ecology, to the Cornell Chronicle.
The Campus-to-Campus bus service operates brand-new, top-of-the-line Prevost motor coaches, which feature approximately 20 wide reclining seats. The website for Cornell’s travel office advertises that each of the buses’ seats feature a pop-up leg rest, arm rests, and adjustable headrest, AC and DC power (for regular plugs and car chargers), wireless or Ethernet internet connections, six channels of XM radio, reading lights and sturdy tray tables. “It’d a different kind of service” Lieb said.
The coaches also feature other amenities such as complementary beverages, light snacks, pillows and blankets, a galley and a lavatory each with hot and cold running water, a coat closet, and ample storage room for luggage wither overhead or under the bus.
“It is definitely much faster and more comfortable…you can do much more in the new bus,” said Jason Blinder ’05.
The cost of the Campus-to-Campus bus service is $99 one way and $175 round trip, a considerably more expensive method of transportation than the regularly scheduled buses to New York City which depart from the Cornell Campus and the Ithaca bus station. The prices for the busses not provided by Cornell can run as low as $60 round trip for students. On the other hand, the service might be a good alternative to air travel with airline ticket prices to New York City from Ithaca costing around $600 round trip.
Nonetheless the Campus-to-Campus bus service was not created to compete with any of these methods of transportation, but rather to serve as an alternative.
“It just throws another alternative into the mix” said Lieb.
However, the Campus-to-Campus bus service is not intended to generate direct competition with the regularly scheduled buses and will only offer eight round trips per week including a new Sunday service, compared to the regularly scheduled buses which offer approximately eight trips in each direction each day. The Sunday service, internet service and complimentary hot beverages were added to the service in direct response to costumer feedback from the pilot period last fall semester.
“The only real downside is that it only makes one trip in each direction each day.” said Blinder.
Despite the cost, students are satisfied. “That doesn’t mean I can afford it, but I still think it’s worth it…I would definitely like for Cornell to find a way to subsidize it and lower the price” said Blinder.
Archived article by Ana Li Carrillo