I love the TCAT. When it comes on time, I think to myself, Cornell is great! It might be a little cold, but it is definitely not too bad since a bus comes by every ten minutes.
But, I also hate the TCAT. When it is late or leaves early, I think to myself, Cornell SUCKS. It is freezing cold and I have to cross the suspension bridge and walk up all the way to the Ag Quad. This is definitely not cute, TCAT.
At least once a week it screws me over. But if I am so annoyed by the TCAT, why do I keep going back to it? I am horrible with science, but I think that the reason I still have faith every morning that the bus will get me to class on time falls under the same type of reasoning that dictates the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment. Every day, I wake up to two different but simultaneous realities: one in which the bus comes on time and one in which it does not. I am an optimist (and would do anything for fifteen more minutes of sleep) so I elect to put my trust in the former.
I, therefore, am in a love-hate relationship with the TCAT and I thought the best way to express my feelings is through sonnet:
Oh, TCAT you may be no limousine,
But, ah, how great is your utility.
I’m blocked from wind, no need for Vaseline.
At night, you keep me from feeling spooky.
As a freshman, a ride costs me nothing,
(Really can such a thing at Cornell be?)
But even one-fifty’s not much ca-ching.
So, years together we’ll be gleefully.
But many times you left me abandoned.
When you are five minutes late to the block
I am then late to class and am saddened;
Yet, the worst’s when you come after I walk.
But as Christian Grey shows through a feather,
Pain and pleasure can still exist together
As silly as my slightly critical and overwhelmingly dotty lyrics may be, I do genuinely believe that the TCAT is a great service for Cornell students. The bus drivers always kindly respond to my question, “Does this bus go to ______,” and the late night drivers deal with a lot. I understand that if it is late, it’s probably because there were loads of people jaywalking or crossing the street somewhere.
But, with that said, I do think that there should be a stricter oversight that holds the TCAT more accountable to its routes, especially for buses that run late at night and on the weekends. After 9 p.m., the TCAT is notorious for being especially unreliable: sporadically not coming on time, not showing up at all, or not going to the right places. It’s annoying when a bus does not show up on time, so you’re late to class. But when people are trying to get home late at night, an inconvenient situation can turn into a dangerous one.