On Aug. 18, the TCAT transportation services entered into a partnership with Ithaca College to provide more late-night transportation on weekends in several areas, including Cornell.
The new late night services will be funded for a trial period by Ithaca College that spans the 2011 to 2012 academic school year. During the trial, TCAT Routes 11 and 90 — which run from Ithaca’s Commons to both Ithaca College and Cornell — will run every half hour, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The new service aims to provide students “more opportunities to travel between campuses, downtown or Cornell University at night and in the early-morning hours,” according to a TCAT press release.
In addition to the increased frequency of buses leaving the Commons on weekend nights, the hours for Route 11 were also extended by a half-hour.
The last bus to I.C. will now leave the Commons at 2 a.m., giving students the option of taking a bus back to the Ithaca campus after the bars close, said Brian McAree, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life at Ithaca College.
“With the bars and taverns closing at 1 a.m., we felt that having two routes, one at 1:30 and one at 2:00 a.m., would be helpful to our students,” McAree said.
Although the TCAT partnership is with Ithaca College, Cornell students will also benefit from the new arrangement, said Patty Poist, communications and marketing manager for TCAT.
Cornell Student Assembly President Natalie Raps ’12 said she is pleased that the initiative is a step toward improving late-night safety.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction to start addressing late-night transportation safety issues, especially with the rise in forcible touching and everything else that happens late at night on campus,” Raps said.
Raps, however, added that there is still much work to be done toward improving student safety.
“I think that there needs to be more of an emphasis from TCAT, from other services, from the administration, and from students to start addressing late night safety issues and to find innovative ways to really address these issues,” Raps said.
I.C. approached TCAT about increasing services from downtown to its campus to help address noise complaints caused by students walking from downtown Ithaca through the South Hill neighborhood, McAree said.
According to McAree, the new services will not only address noise level complaints, but will also provide students with a more convenient and safer way to travel back to campus at night.
“It’s for safety of the passengers, convenience, for the quality of life in the neighborhoods. We’re looking to transport people by TCAT at any time, any place, for any reason,” said Doug Swarts, development manager for TCAT.
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Original Author: Jesella Zambrano