Will unlimited TCAT privileges be extended to second-year students who will be spending their first year physically in Ithaca this year?

Date: August 2021


Dear Deans,

From the website I learned that Cornell provides all new students unlimited TCAT privileges for the first year of their studies. However, for those who have spent their first year/semester remotely due to COVID-19 constraints, will the unlimited TCAT privileges be extended to cover their first years when they are physically here in Ithaca? 


A “New” Student


Thanks so much for the Ask A Dean program- it’s really helpful to have as a resource! I have a question regarding bus passes for first year students.

Last year I tried to use the bus pass that it is supposed to be provided free for first year students. Mine did not work, which I figured was due to COVID and the switch to remote work. Will second year students who should have received passes last year get them this year? It seems unfair that we should miss out on this great program and green way to get to campus because of the pandemic, which already made our first year at Cornell a bit more challenging than usual.

Thank you very much!

Another “New” Student


Dear “New” Students:

Thank you for your important queries regarding access to the TCAT bus system in Ithaca and the surrounding areas. For assistance with your questions, I turned to Bridgette Brady, sr. director of Cornell University Transportation and Delivery Services. Here’s what I learned: 

  • All first year students, graduate and undergraduate, have unlimited access to TCAT services. These privileges are a function of your NetID; bus access occurs with a swipe of your ID card.
  • Unfortunately, unlimited TCAT privileges will not be extended to second year students, even those who were not physically present on campus for 2020-21. I understand that this is a disappointing outcome.
  • TCAT privileges unused from previous years will not be reinstated.

I wish the news were better!


Kathryn Boor

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education