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Cornell University

Employee Commuter Alternative Program

TCAT Bus Access

All Cornell employees (including temporary employees and affiliates) and retirees can use their CU photo ID card at the fare box when boarding TCAT buses to ride any where TCAT goes, any time TCAT runs—Cornell pays the fare (normally $1.50). This unlimited ride privilege allows employees more flexibility in planning their commute, and can help reduce the number of vehicles on campus.

Transit riders who live outside the county can join OmniRide. A portion of the regional providers’ bus pass fee is paid by Cornell; employees pay the remaining cost via payroll deduction. These program participants also enjoy unlimited access to TCAT buses, and are eligible for occasional-use permits.

Commuter Alternative Program (CAP)

Regular employees (not temporary) working on the Ithaca campus who choose to forego or relinquish an annual parking permit may be eligible for occasional-use, one day parking permits to use on days when taking the bus won't work. Permits can be requested and are distributed according to program guidelines.

Participants who have documented dependent- or child-care responsibilities may apply for additional one-day parking permits; the FamilyCare Application must be signed by a care representative and completed annually.

Getting Started

  1. Research TCAT schedules and Park-and-Ride locations.
  2. Check out the support services for program participants.
  3. Talk to your supervisor if you need to adjust your schedule to ride the bus.
  4. Turn in your annual parking permit if you have one.
  5. Register your vehicle if you need occasional-use, one-day parking permits.
  6. If you're an out-of-county transit rider, sign the OmniRide commuter program contract/payroll deduction agreement. You will be enrolled in the program until you cancel your participation or no longer meet eligibility requirements. 

and, if you’re interested,

  • Ithaca Carshare is a membership service offering 24/7 self-serve access to fuel-efficient cars. Visit their website to sign up for a discounted membership.

If the program doesn’t work for you, contact us to choose another commuting option.

CAP Participation Perks


  • Must be regular full-time or part-time Cornell employee working on the Ithaca campus
  • CAP privileges are mutually exclusive with holding an individual parking permit.
  • After the trial period, a processing fee may apply and permit issuance will be subject to availability.
  • CAP participants requesting occasional-use permits must register their vehicle.
  • The CU photo ID card is the fare medium and must be presented at the fare box—and read electronically—in order to access ride privileges.
  • All transit riders should be prepared to use cash in the event their CU ID card is not accepted at the TCAT fare box.