Is it time to think about alternative transportation for your commute?


Contributed by Marian Brown

Hey IC employees: Is the specter of shelling out $4 a gallon (or more) at the gas pump making you think twice about alternative transportation options for your daily commute to campus? The American Automobile Association’s annual guide called “Your Driving Costs”  estimates that it costs most drivers at least $8,000 a year to own and operate a single occupant vehicle – and that was based on gas costing ~$2.60 a gallon! With that sobering thought in mind, here’s a review of all the programs that Ithaca College underwrites in full or in part to help you get out of your single-occupant vehicle and into a shared ride for your commute to work.

Public Transportation: Ride in style and leave the commuting headaches to a trained professional driver!

Vanpool A vanpool is a group of 5 to 14 people sharing a ride to or from Tompkins County in a commuter van supplied to and driven by one of that vanpool’s members. VPSI Inc. is the contractor providing vanpool services for Tompkins County. Ithaca College provides additional support for vanpool groups. For more information, contact VPSI at 1-800-VANRIDE or go to

Zimride Tompkins - This community-wide rideshare system, powered by Zimride, can help you find shared rides for commutes and errands. Post an offer of a ride in your vehicle or ask to fill an empty seat in another commuter’s car coming into Ithaca. Use your email to sign in for the first time and create your Zimride profile. You may limit your search to just other members of the Ithaca College campus community, or you can seek to share rides with folks from Cornell, TC3 or employees of other business or organizations in the Ithaca area. Zimride Tompkins is completely free to use.

Ithaca Carshare – While this local carsharing program isn’t intended to directly support your daily commute, if you use other modes of transportation to get to campus (bus, vanpool, carpool, rideshare), Ithaca Carshare members can reserve a vehicle to run local errands or respond to emergencies during the day. Ithaca Carshare is a membership-based service that provides 24/7 access to vehicles on an hourly basis. As a member, you reserve a car on the web or via an automated phone system. Members pay an hourly rate and per mile charge to use the car, but do not pay additional fees for gas, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, or permanent parking! Ithaca Carshare fleet vehicles are conveniently located along TCAT routes, including one along TCAT Route 11 on Hudson Street. Ithaca College faculty and staff get $50 in driving credit with their Ithaca Carshare membership.   

Way2Go is a free local resource that can help you determine the best transportation option to meet your needs.