February 4, 2004

TCAT Reroutes Buses Through University Ave.

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The Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit has responded to a slew of complaints from Buffalo St. residents and altered one of its regular bus routes on Monday. The popularly-traveled Route 10 will no longer make the frequent trips up Buffalo Street that initially prompted complaints. It will, instead, travel the length of University Ave., making three additional stops along the way.

According to Nancy Oltz, manager of operations and maintenance for TCAT, Buffalo St. residents were exasperated with the frequent bus trips that occurred on a daily basis. “We started getting complaints from residents of Buffalo St. because busses came up the road every ten minutes,” Oltz said.

Frustrations culminated when Buffalo St. residents voiced their complaints at a TCAT board meeting. Presenting a petition that was signed by numerous members of the neighborhood, they demanded that the route be re-worked.

Changes

When TCAT managers and directors sat down to reroute the transit service in question, they noticed that University Ave. had no bus stops. In addition, they noticed a number of residential areas on the avenue, including apartment complexes, fraternity houses and rental houses that comprised an untapped transportation market. With this in mind, they redrew Route 10 to run along University Ave., and eliminated the route’s path up Buffalo St.

“When we were looking at the Route 10 area, we saw the opportunity to provide service for an area that, at the time, had no service,” Oltz said.

The new Route 10, which began its service on Monday, includes three stops on University Ave.: at University Ave. and Linn St., University and Cornell Avenues. and at University Ave. and Lake St. Busses on this route depart from the Seneca St. bus shelter every ten minutes, and, in accordance with existing TCAT policy, passengers can board and disembark the bus at various points while traveling.

While the new route eliminates many trips up Buffalo Street and provides three new stops, it also removes the Route 10 stop in front of The Chapter House on Stewart Ave. Responding to objection from Stewart Ave. residents, Oltz called attention to the other bus routes that stop there.

“There were already a number of routes traveling from Green Street to campus,” she said. “While that area already had service, we took the opportunity to provide service on University Ave., where there was previously none.”

In last Friday’s Ithaca Journal, Rod Ghearing, TCAT CEO and general manager, estimated that 119,000 Ithacans used the Route 10 service, a large number of whom, were students, using the bus to travel to and from campus. In a statement issued to the Cornell News Service, he predicted that the rerouted service would continue to regularly serve high volumes of passengers.

“This improved Route 10 will provide TCAT options form many hundreds of potential new riders,” Ghearing said.

Archived article by Ellen Miller

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