Amidst a massive decline in ridership and COVID-19 closures, TCAT announced that it would cut substantial service by Thursday, March 19.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Amidst a massive decline in ridership and COVID-19 closures, TCAT announced that it would cut substantial service by Thursday, March 19.

March 16, 2020

Late Night TCAT Trips Suspended Immediately, Broader Cuts Effective Thursday

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Tompkins Consolidated Area Transportation will end all late night bus service effective immediately and substantially cut service systemwide by March 19, according to a Monday TCAT statement.

Scot Vanderpool, general manager of TCAT, as well as other managers at the company, decided to advance the date of closures in response to a “downward spiral in ridership that started late last week and continued over the weekend,” the release stated. Prior to the announcement, TCAT planned to suspend bus service on March 22, according to the release.

This decision currently does not involve any layoffs for TCAT employees, Vanderpool told The Sun.

The acceleration of TCAT’s service reductions comes after President Martha E. Pollack’s surprise announcement on March 13 that classes would be suspended immediately, and that students living on campus would be asked to vacate dorms and return home as soon as possible.

People affiliated with Cornell make up around 70 percent of TCAT’s annual ridership, according to Vanderpool.

Patty Poist, TCAT communications and marketing manager, said that Ithaca residents should be on the lookout for any more revisions to TCAT’s service plans, which could change as circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic develop.

Several routes will depart for the last time tonight, including 11N, 90, 92 and 93.

According to Vanderpool, it is unclear when bus service will resume, and will be discussed as the coronavirus outbreak unfolds in the coming months.

“It’s an ever-changing landscape,” Vanderpool said.

Correction, March 16, 9:32 p.m.A previous version of this article misstated that TCAT would cut all service by March 19; it will substantially cut, but not cancel daytime services. The article and headline have since been updated.