For the first time in eight years, the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit will increase fares for commuters who board from rural areas, effective Jan. 1.
The new fares takes into account two zones, namely Zone One, which is the greater Ithaca area and Zone Two, the rural area. All rides originating from Zone Two will cost $2.50, as opposed to the current $1.50. Costs of rides from Zone One to Zone Two will not change.
The proposals also include discontinuing service on Route 52 and 68 and combining Routes 53 and 54.
TCAT communications and marketing manager Patty Poist said the proposal was brought up because of increased financial strains on TCAT.
“It was an excruciating process for them,” she said. “TCAT regrets having to change our stellar service. We are No. 1 in the country for our system, our size.”
Since Ithaca College is in Zone One, people traveling from rural areas to the college will be affected by the proposed increase.
Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost, said about two-thirds of the college’s faculty and staff live outside the local 14850 zip code, and said the college would work with TCAT to control costs.
“We would like to continue to work with TCAT to keep costs under control where we can, and so we can still continue to underwrite our faculty and staff to use this system,” she said.
For a full map of affected areas and routes, visit http://www.tcatbus.com/files/all/finalzonemap.pdf