Tompkins Transportation Plan Includes Improved Rural Mass Transit

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Tompkins County residents are closely examining a proposed transportation plan. The long term plan, which makes the county eligible for federal transportation funding, covers the next twenty years.

Fernando De Aragon directs the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, which is responsible for the plan. He said every day about 15,000 people travel into Tompkins County, mainly into Ithaca from neighboring counties. Most of them commute for work and most are alone in their cars. 

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio

Construction amidst pedestrian, bus, bike and car traffic in Ithaca, New York. April 9, 2019 (WSKG Public Radio/Celia Clarke)

The Council wants to improve rural transportation. De Aragon said new technology could allow smaller buses to respond on-demand, like a taxi and take rural residents to the main bus routes. There’s already pilot plan in place.  

Another goal is to improve safety by better maintaining existing infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Several more public hearings on the proposal are planned.