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Cornell University

Employee Commuter Alternative Program

Commuter Alternative Program

Unlimited Transit 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 anywhere 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 bus pass fee is paid directly to the regional provider by Cornell; employees pay the remaining cost via payroll deduction. These program participants also enjoy unlimited access to TCAT buses. Participants are enrolled in the program until they cancel participation or no longer meet eligibility requirements.  

If taking the bus doesn’t work, contact us to choose another commuting option.

What you get:

  • A 30-day risk-free trial period.

  • Unlimited access to TCAT buses anywhere in Tompkins County.

  • Reduced-cost bus pass for out-of-county transit OmniRiders.

  • Flexible short-term parking options.

  • Ithaca Carshare membership discount.

Getting Started

  1. Research TCAT schedules and Park-and-Ride locations.
  2. Check out the support services for program participants.
  3. Talk to a supervisor if work schedule adjustments are necessary to ride the bus.
  4. Out-of-county transit riders must:
    • be regular full-time or part-time Cornell employee working on the Ithaca campus.
    • Return their annual parking permit.
    • Sign the OmniRide commuter program contract/payroll deduction agreement.


  • After the trial period, a processing fee may apply, and permit issuance will be subject to availability.
  • 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.