October 18, 2002

TCAT Route Offers Relief

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Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) added bus route 33, on Oct. 3. The new route provides three morning services between 8:03 and 9:03 with stops at Community Corners, Parkway and Upland, Highland and Thurston, Uris Hall and the Dairy Barn. The first and third run will provide additional stops at Uptown Apartments; the third run will terminate at Sage Hall.

“The three trips are inbound, then the bus will express back,” Nancy Oltz said, Manager of Operations and Maintenance for TCAT.

“Each trip is a bit different. The first run starts by backing up the 32 route, as it gets in further, it goes into an area other than where the 32 goes.”

The new 33 bus will be a “back-up run,” meaning that it covers areas where there are excess passengers along certain parts of the 30 and 32 routes. The line will also include additional stops to those made by the current buses.

“It really doesn’t affect any other route except for the two it was backing up,” Oltz said. “It provides more seats at the time and it allows more riders from that area to ride the bus.”

Residents appreciate the new route.

“Nobody wants to start their day riding an overcrowded bus,” said Brian Deerr ’04, a resident of Highland Avenue. “It’s good to know that TCAT is so responsive to the needs of the students.”

Officials at TCAT cite several motivations for adding a new route.

“More than anything else [the decision to add a new route resulted from] conversation with the drivers who had been seeing it throughout the semester,” said Rod Ghearing, General Manager of TCAT. Ghearing suggested that one possible reason for the increase in passengers is Cornell’s decision to raise parking prices.

Basing the decision on reports from bus drivers, calls from customers and other observations, TCAT determined that there should be three runs from approximately 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“[This] time is peak hour,” Oltz said. “Plus we were out there observing ourselves, and those were the times that the service was needed. There were very specific times that we had to leave passengers because busses were full. And not only specific times, but specific locations.”

Ghearing emphasized the importance of driver input.

“Basically, this was done through conversation with the drivers of the busses,” he said. “They knew where it was occurring. So we worked with them to determine where the crowding was. They’re out there every day; they have the best information about things like that.”

Although TCAT is uncertain as to whom this new route will help the most, both Ghearing and Oltz observed that the new route would be used both by students and staff. Oltz said she expected the routes to be covered fairly equally; she anticipates that the passengers getting on at Triphammer will be more staff and employees, whereas those closer to campus are more likely to be students.

Archived article by David Hillis