TCAT, Tompkins County’s public transportation service, suspended service on Tuesday because of treacherous roads caused by Winter Storm Stella, which shut down Cornell and dumped nearly 10 inches of snow on Ithaca by 5 p.m.
The University, which is currently closed, expects to reopen at noon on Wednesday, but several professors preemptively cancelled afternoon classes and midterms, citing the volatility of the storm.
“Given the closure of the university at noon today and the lack of certainty on when the university will reopen, … the midterm test that was scheduled for class tomorrow will be postponed until class on Monday,” one professor in the ILR School wrote to students.
At least two more professors in the English department and the ILR School cancelled classes that were scheduled to begin hours after the University expects to open on Wednesday.
Patty Poist, TCAT communications and marketing manager, said the unpredictability of the weather and snowfall of more than 1 inch per hour led TCAT to suspend service.
“Some roads are just becoming impassible and safety is paramount,” she said.
TCAT is hoping to resume service on Wednesday morning, Poist said, dependant on road conditions.
Routes 81 and 83 will not operate in the morning because of Cornell’s delayed opening, and Route 82 will begin operating at 10 a.m., according to the TCAT alerts website.
Buses were stationed at both the Green Street and Seneca Street stations on Tuesday afternoon so people could climb on board and stay warm. All passengers were dropped off before the bus service suspended its service for the day.
Roads in Tompkins County are currently closed due to an order from Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing that no one use the roadways except for emergency personnel, those commuting home from work or people traveling for necessary health or safety reasons.
On Libe Slope, students rejoiced in the falling snow, riding down the hill on plastic sleds and flattened cardboard boxes. Many businesses, agencies and schools closed on Tuesday, and some — including the Ithaca City School District — have already announced they will be closed on Wednesday as well.