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Bus Services

Public Transit

Need a way to get from your residence hall to class? From your office to a meeting? From your home to work and back home again? Give transit a try!  

TCAT serves all of Tompkins County, including Cornell and the City of Ithaca. Call TCAT at 277-RIDE (Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.) or visit their web site for route, fare, schedule, and personal trip planning information.

Employees and students can access their bus riding privileges with their CU photo ID card on TCAT buses.

Bus stop at Sage Hall

Weekday transit service from surrounding areas to Ithaca and the Cornell campus is available from the following transit providers:  

  • Chemung County Transit serves Elmira, Horseheads, and Ithaca.
  • Cortland Public Transit serves the Cortland area, with service to Cornell, TC3, and Dryden. Express service to the Cornell campus is available Monday - Friday. Please note that this service is currently operating at capacity. Passengers requesting Cortland monthly passes may be put on a wait list.

Riders can pay-as-they-go, purchase monthly passes (available at 116 Maple Avenue), or eligible employees can join Cornell's OmniRide program and payroll-deduct the discounted portion of the out-of-county pass.

Charter Bus Service and Ground Transportation to Local Airports

Transportation Services does not manage any charter bus services or provide ground transportation to local airports. We have, however, compiled a list of local services. This list of service providers should not be taken as an endorsement. Get Around Guide (pdf)

Stay Informed

Inclement weather conditions can hamper service and cause long delays. Subscribe to your provider's e-mail list to receive messages about interruptions to transit services.

How to Access Your Ride Privileges (FAQs)

How do I use my CU photo ID card at the fare box?
Every time you board a TCAT bus with your CU ID card, touch the card to the prox chip reader on the fare box. If that doesn’t work, swipe your card in the mag stripe reader (mag stripe down, facing either way). It does not matter which method you use.

How do I know my card has been accepted?
You’ll hear a beep. If your card is not accepted, you’ll hear a double beep.

Will I have to pay if my card isn’t accepted?
In a word, yes. Please be prepared to pay cash should your card not work.

  • If your card isn’t accepted because you are outside the boundaries or riding at a time when your card isn’t valid, the driver will inform you that you need to pay ($1.50).
  • If your CU photo ID is and older-style card, bent, or the mag stripe is damaged, it may not read properly. You will have to replace your card to access rider privileges in the future.
  • If you are unsure why your CU photo ID card isn’t working properly, contact our office at 255-4600.
  • Please note: Your CU photo ID card will be the fare medium and MUST be presented at the fare box—and read, electronically—in order to ride at no cost.

Can I share my CU photo ID card?
No. Your CU photo ID card is the property of the university and cannot be shared with another person for any reason.

What happens if I lose my CU photo ID card?
Report lost or stolen cards to the University Registrar at 255-4232. Replacement cards are available from their office; a fee may be charged. If you are an OmniRide participant, contact Transportation Services at 255-4600.