In an effort to boost ridership, Tconnect's app-based, on-demand transit service running weekdays in Dryden has expanded to include the Freeville area, effective immediately. See new map.
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.
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.
Riders in a designated service area can hail a Tconnect by scheduling a ride on the HyperCommute app, created by Urban Mobility, Inc., that can be downloaded either on an iPhone or Android. If no smart phone is available, customers can book a ride over the phone by calling Gadabout Dispatch at (607) 273-1878 (between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) The Dryden-Freeville area service runs between 7:45 a.m. and noon and 1:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tconnect has offered weekend-only service in the Lansing-Etna area since August 2020. While the Lansing-Etna service uses smaller TCAT buses, the Dryden-Freeville service is using Gadabout Transportation Services, Inc., buses. Both are branded with the Tconnect logo.
By using the HyperCommute app, riders can track the Tconnect bus in real time. And, by scheduling via the app or by phone, customers can expect to be picked up near their home usually within at least 30 minutes of the time they wish to board. In the Dryden/Freeville area the Tconnect bus then transports riders to the TCAT Route 43to Cornell/Ithaca where they can transfer onto other routes to complete trips anywhere in the TCAT’s system. Or, riders can request a drop off among a few select destinations to include in-town retailers or professional offices for errands, work or appointments.
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.
The Tconnect model has been in the works for more than two years when 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.
More than a year after the pandemic disrupted the original launch plan, the Tconnect transportation service in Dryden will launch Monday, August 9th. Tconnect is an app-based, on-demand transportation service that allows users to schedule rides from their home to transit connections or select destinations in the service area.
The Dryden service will run weekdays serving the Village of Dryden and surrounding areas starting on Mon., Aug. 9 with a “soft” roll-out starting Wed., Aug. 4. The Dryden service will operate Mon.-Fri., from 7:45 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m and will offer service in a nearly 4-mile radius from the main bus stop on Main Street in the Village of Dryden.
Users schedule a ride using a customized app called HyperCommute through which riders can book a ride, track the Tconnect bus in real-time, and expect to be picked up at or near their home within 30 minutes. The Tconnect bus then transports riders to a TCAT bus stop where they can transfer onto other routes to complete trips anywhere in the TCAT’s system. Or, riders can request a drop off among select destinations including the library, high school, Poet’s Landing, and other in-town retailers or professional offices for errands, work, or appointments.
For more information on the Tconnect project, area covered, and updates on the Dryden service launch, please visit: https://tcatbus.com/tconnect/
To read the full press release, please visit: https://tcatbus.com/tconnect-app-based-on-demand-service-extends-to-dryden-8-9-21/
Tconnect is an on-demand transit service run by TCAT in the Lansing/Etna community. The service will help rural residents access TCAT’s existing bus routes and will accommodate multiple pick-up and drop-off locations beyond fixed-route connections. Not only will a rider be able to schedule a trip to a TCAT bus stop, but also to locations 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 will be 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. (PLEASE NOTE: TCAT is fare free through Sat., Sept. 5.)
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.
In order for this service to properly follow TCAT’s COVID guidelines, there will be reduced capacity on the vehicles and masks will be required for drivers and passengers (unless a rider claims a medical exemption).
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 October 19, 2021