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Help TCAT Find the Right Balance on Feb. 10 at TC3 and Feb. 12 in Newfield

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> Help TCAT Find the Right Balance on Feb. 10 at TC3 and Feb. 12 in Newfield

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Help TCAT Find the Right Balance on Feb. 10 at TC3 and Feb. 12 in Newfield

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) continues to seek feedback in a series of public sessions to create its first‑ever Title VI Service Standards and Policy Plan – a big‑picture document that will guide TCAT in its service planning decisions in the future.  Tompkins County government is a one of the three sponsoring partners of TCAT.

The community is invited to participate in an engaging computer‑interactive exercise – keeping in mind TCAT’s budget constraints – how many hours a day and how frequently each type of transit service should run.

An evening exercise will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tues., Feb. 10, at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), 170 N. St., Dryden, in the TC3 Main Building, Room 163C.

A second evening exercise will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 12 in the board meeting room at Newfield Town Hall, 166 Main St., Newfield.

Refreshments will be provided.

As required by the Federal Transportation Administration under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, TCAT is required to submit the plan to ensure that it is serving the entire community fairly across all neighborhoods, races, ethnicities, languages and income levels, despite the performance of any given bus route.

Public input will form the basis of the service standards plan, and TCAT will be adjusting service according to that plan. 

“This process is about gauging the community’s definition of the local quality of life as it pertains to public transit,” said TCAT Service Development Manager Doug Swarts. “We will always add service where needed in response to demand, but it is important to define minimum service levels for all routes. Our resources may be limited, but the public is in the best position to tell us how we should allocate them.”

To fully engage the public, TCAT Service Analyst Matt Yarrow and Swarts came up with an interactive computer exercise to gather feedback on what times and frequency TCAT’s bus service should be. Groups will be divided into four to five people, given instructions and a laptop; essentially they will become planners making the tough decisions on providing the best possible service without exceeding the budget.

Swarts and Yarrow conducted a several exercises around the community, which drew valuable feedback from riders. They initially engaged TCAT’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) in the exercise in late summer. This committee is a group of riders, who meet monthly to provide feedback and suggestions for better TCAT service.  

“It put me in the driver’s seat in trying to balance a real budget, while always keeping the details of Title VI (The Civil Rights Act) in mind, along with the human impact of changes or eliminating routes,” said CAC member Gary Cremeens.

If possible, please RSVP TCAT for the meeting by emailing tcat@tcatmail.comor by leaving a voice mail message at (607) 277‑9388, ext. 560.  TCAT will attempt to arrange transportation for those who cannot find a way to attend.