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The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at

ITHACA, N.Y. — A Memorandum of Understanding between Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc. (TCAT) and Cornell University was signed in late June formalizing Cornell’s volume discount payments over the next three years, and pledging to begin talks on a new agreement to cover volume discount payments beyond 2018.

As previously outlined by Cornell, the volume discount payments agreement increases Cornell’s $2.6 million annual bulk fare payment to TCAT over the next three years by $250,000 in Cornell’s FY16, an additional $125,000 for a total increase of $375,000 in FY17, and an additional $125,000 for a total increase of $500,000 in FY18. The university, the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County also each provide annual contractual payments to TCAT for its operations and capital expenses.

In addition to formalizing Cornell’s increased fare payments, both parties announced they will begin negotiations in 2016 on a new memorandum of understanding, to be signed during calendar year 2017, to extend the schedule of volume discount payments by Cornell to TCAT beyond 2018.

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“Cornell welcomes this important agreement with TCAT,” Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina said.

“This transportation is an essential service to our students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater Ithaca and Tompkins County community. Through this agreement, and the agreement to follow in 2017, we are making clear our ongoing commitment to TCAT’s long-term viability.”

“This agreement for increased fare payments helps TCAT maintain a successful transit system,” TCAT’s Chairman Frank P. Proto said. “I am also pleased that both parties have agreed to continue to negotiate and finalize a method to cover Cornell’s fare payments after fiscal year 2018.  TCAT’s success depends on the ability to cover costs by collecting adequate fares, as well as on federal, state and local funding.”

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.