FreeCAT: Mass Transit in Tompkins County Should be Expanded and Free for All

Tompkins County Legislature, Ithaca Common Council, and the TCAT Board of Directors

  • Because the climate emergency is here and now;
  • Because accessible transportation is a human right;
  • Because high rents in the City of Ithaca force those who work here to live outside the City and commute by car;
  • Because gas prices have more than doubled over the last two years;
  • Because 30-40% of Tompkins County emissions come from private vehicles;
  • Because Ithaca doesn’t need traffic jams;
  • Because our streets should be safer for pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Because the very old, very young, and people with disabilities deserve to be mobile;
  • Because our City and County governments continually prioritize/value upper class profits over working class needs;
  • Because Cornell, the county’s largest employer, does not pay their fair share;
  • Because the Ithaca Green New Deal was adopted unanimously by the City of Ithaca Common Council three years ago but we have yet to see significant action;
  • Because dozens of other cities in the US already have fare free public transport;

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for FreeCAT: we demand that mass transit in Tompkins County should be greatly expanded and free for all.

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To: Tompkins County Legislature, Ithaca Common Council, and the TCAT Board of Directors
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned, urgently demand fare-free and expanded mass transit for Tompkins County: freeCAT. Developing such a transit system would put Ithaca and Tompkins County in line with dozens of other American cities. Moving residents from private vehicles to mass transit is an essential part of any claim to an "Ithaca Green New Deal." The needs of many residents would be met by expanded, fare-free service: it would make area businesses and facilities accessible to people who, for whatever reason, cannot drive, and it would save money for employees of local institutions who cannot afford Ithaca's expensive and limited housing market.

Service must be frequent, reliable, and free if we are to take many cars off the road. We believe that large area businesses, starting with Cornell University, should pay for this change in policy. The climate catastrophe is upon us: we must make this an equitable town where all can afford to work, to get to medical appointments, to enjoy the outdoors as well as local businesses, and we must drastically cut emissions without delay.

Yours sincerely,