Ithaca Blog

Friday, July 28, 2006

TCAT to T-Burg

Friday, 21 July 06

I used the occasion of the GrassRoots Festival, at the hallowed Trumansburg Fairgrounds, to review the Route 21 bus to Trumansburg.

There's a plentiful number of buses running through the day. I caught the 2:17 from Tioga and Seneca Streets. Actually, I was picking it up at the corner of State and Meadow, down the block from my work, at Small World Music. I figured it might be as soon as three minutes for the bus to get there. So that's when I got there.

It arrived at 2:23. Nice - not too fast, not too slow.

The route is via Rt. 96, with a stop at the hospital. The trip was very rapid - in fact, I got caught by surprise, mid-crossword puzzle, to look up and see we were already at the Fairgrounds. I had to hustle to exit.

I was one of just two using the 2:17 for the festival. Perhaps because returns are impossible, late. The last bus back to Ithaca is 7-ish. No good for the festival - also, no good for a night out in T-burg at the Rongo or the Pour House or Simply Red's.

That's the bad news. The good news is that, unlike the price of gas, the price of this ride is coming down. By half, in fact.

Right now the fare is $3.00. Sometime in August, it will be lowered to $1.50. Out-of-town fares will thus be no more expensive than in-town fares. The idea is to attract out-of-town riders who might be feeling a little depressed about the price of petroleum. Not a bad idea.

The price of the ten-mile ride between Ithaca and Trumansburg thus comes tantalizingly close to the same between bus and car. However, if you are a veteran driver to T-burg, you know that you also have to factor in at least one ticket a year out there from the conscientious Rt. 96 constables in their relentless pursuit of motorists driving without all their light bulbs, or squealing their tires. Figure each $105 fine is 70 TCAT rides, and the 21 bus becomes that much more appealing.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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