Bus Services, Privileges, Passes

Convenient, efficient, and economical, transit is a perfect option for making the most of your precious time.

TCAT Access Notice for faculty staff ID cardsGetting Started:

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 park-and-ride lot locations. TCAT Tcard bus passes are sold for various ride-denominations and are available at the Cornell Store.

Employees and students can access their bus riding privileges with their CU photo ID card on TCAT buses. 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. Try to keep credit cards and cards containing a prox chip separate from your CU ID, and away from the fare box.

Employee CU ID Card Privilege

  • Employees (including temporary employees and affiliates) and retirees can use their CU photo ID card at the fare box, Monday-Friday, to ride TCAT buses on the Cornell campus and among Cornell facilities located downtown and near the airport (TCAT zone one)—and pay no fare (normally $1.50).
  • Regular (not temporary) employees and university affiliates working on the Ithaca campus can enroll in the OmniRide commuter program to receive unlimited transit privileges on TCAT buses.
  • Faculty/staff spouse/partners with a CU ID card receive unlimited rides on TCAT night routes 90, 92, and 93.
  • NEW! Beginning August 21, 2019, all faculty and staff with a CU photo ID card can access all TCAT routes in Tompkins County, any time they run, any where they go!

Student CU ID Card Privilege

  • All registered students enrolled in a degree program receive free, unlimited rides on all TCAT buses after 6 p.m. weekdays, and anytime Saturday and Sunday.
  • New-to-Cornell students automatically receive OmniRide privileges for unlimited TCAT privileges in their first year as a matriculated student in a degree program. Privileges expire annually on August 31 for Fall entrants, and December 31 for Spring entrants.
  • Students not New-to-Cornell can purchase OmniRide privileges at myparking.cornell.edu. Privileges expire annually on August 31.
  • Continuing education students and student spouse/partners with a CU ID card receive unlimited rides on TCAT night routes 90, 92, and 93.

Regional Public Transit

Riders can pay-as-they-go, and eligible employees can join Cornell's OmniRide commuter program to receive a discounted annual pass.


  • Bus access using the CU ID card, including night/weekend and OmniRide, is paid for by Cornell University and is non-transferable.
  • The CU photo ID card is the fare medium and must be presented at the fare box—and read electronically—in order to ride at no cost.
  • Transit riders should be prepared to use cash in the event their CU ID card is not accepted at the TCAT fare box.
    • 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/$2.50).
    • If your CU ID is bent or 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 607-255-4600.
  • Report lost or stolen cards to the University Registrar at 607-255-4232. Replacement cards are available from their office; a fee may be charged.
  • The CU photo ID card is the property of the university and cannot be shared with another person for any reason.
Primary Contact Information:

Transportation Services

116 Maple Avenue
Ithaca NY 14850-4902
t: 607-255-4600
f: 607-255-0257

Hours of Operation                 
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F