February 24, 2004

Student Project Improves TCAT

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As a result of the efforts of a Cornell junior’s extra-credit project, TCAT will be posting bus schedules at all its stops on the Cornell campus and Collegetown in the coming weeks.

When Julia Levy ’05 was given an extra-credit project for her AEM 240 marketing class this fall to come up with a business improvement plan for a corporation, she decided to think locally.

While the goal of the project was to improve the bottom line of the selected company, Levy wanted to do more than that.


“I thought about something on the Cornell campus that I wanted to change or improve,” said Levy, and she set her sights on the TCAT bus system that serves the Cornell campus and the rest of Tompkins County. Financial troubles recently forced TCAT to raise regular bus fares to $1.50 from last year’s $1 rate.

The core of Levy’s plan for improving TCAT’s fortune was the posting of bus schedules at each stop on the Cornell campus.

“[More] people would ride the bus if they knew when it was coming,” she said, also noting that in every other area she has been with a public transportation system, schedules are posted at each stop.


Not content with a couple of extra-credit points, Levy used the contacts she had made during the course of her research to lobby TCAT to make her plan a reality. After discussing the logistics of her plan with Dwight Mengel, TCAT’s service development manager, TCAT decided to include the bus schedule idea as part of its general improvement plan for its stops throughout Ithaca. The first schedules will be posted throughout the Cornell campus.

“We are posting summary schedules at bus stops,” Mengel said, referring to a list of departure times and routes. “Further, we are going to try out new bus stop signs designed for stops with low light