September 12, 2008

TCAT Service Will Continue Through Negotiations

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Though an agreement has not been reached between the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit and the United Auto Workers over labor contracts, TCAT service will continue uninterrupted today. The union, which represents all TCAT drivers and mechanics, will proceed in talks with the bus service as they attempt to strike a deal.
Yesterday afternoon, concern arose that the two groups would not reach a consensus by midnight last night, when all contracts for TCAT workers expired.
The University — in preparation for a possible discontinuation of TCAT service — announced a contingent plan, in which all bus commuters would receive free parking on campus, according to Judy Eckard, associate director for transportation and mail services. Eckard could not confirm how many people commute to Cornell daily by bus, but said that 1,500 people are signed up for Cornell’s Omniride program.
The end of the TCAT workers’ contracts signifies the completion of the third year that TCAT has negotiated compensation independent of the City of Ithaca, according to Eckard. Before that, workers were paid by the city. In the last three years, there has been no discontinuation of service.