Tconnect is a weekend-only on-demand transit service run by TCAT in the Lansing/Etna community and has been in operation since August 2020. Tconnect’s aim is to provide transportation options to people living too far, or more than ¼- mile from a TCAT bus stop, to places where it’s too costly to send a full-sized transit bus. The service helps rural residents access TCAT’s existing bus routes and will accommodate multiple pick-up and drop-off locations beyond fixed-route connections. As opposed to a regular TCAT public transit bus that follows a set route and timetable to pick up or drop off riders at specific stops, the Tconnect service is more flexible, more akin to an Uber or Lyft or even a taxi. The difference is that Tconnect uses a small bus that can serve multiple people on certain trips, and at a much lower cost to both the rider and transit agency.
Riders can schedule a trip to a TCAT bus stop or other common destinations in the service area such as the Cayuga Mall, Ithaca Airport, U.S. Postal Service, Convenient Care at Ithaca, Lansing Town Hall and the Tompkins County Public Safety (Jail and Sheriff's office).
To schedule a ride, use the app (download at https://www.hypercommute.com/ ) and select the Tconnect service or call TCAT 607 277-7433 (RIDE). Trips can be scheduled 30 minutes in advance between 7:35 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 1:35 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.The service is run with a TCAT driver and one of the 25ft or 35ft buses in TCAT’s fleet.
The cost is the same as a regular TCAT ride, $1.50 per ride for adults and half fare for youth 17 and under, seniors 60 and older, and persons with disabilities. Prepaid Tcards can also be used. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST to complete a one-way trip using both Tconnect and TCAT. Bus drivers will provide you with a transfer slip. Riders can make connections using route 30/70 at its main bus stop at the Shops at Ithaca Mall that offers frequent service to and from downtown and Cornell. Riders can transfer for free onto other routes that are operating within the TCAT service area. The app will provide real-time vehicle location information for the Tconnect vehicle, assisting users in seamlessly transferring between services.
The Tconnect concept was created from a partnership with TCAT; Urban Mobility, Inc., creator of the HyperCommute app; Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc. and Way2Go: a program under Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. Critical financial support came in 2019 when NYSERDA awarded the project a $260,000 grant.
For more information on the Tconnect project, area covered, and updates please visit: https://tcatbus.com/tconnect/
This is a two-year project funded by NYSERDA in partnership with TCAT, Gadabout, HyperCommute, and Way2Go. The goals of this project are to increase rural access to public transportation,and reduce transportation barriers in Tompkins County, the number of drive-alone vehicles coming into Ithaca, and Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Last updated December 20, 2021