To discourage first-year students from bringing cars to campus, school administrators make the price to purchase a parking pass very costly. They claim that the public transportation system in the Ithaca area, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT), is accessible to most locations in the region. While this is true, more often than not, the buses are late or take an extremely long time to get to a location that is only 15 or so minutes away by car. The buses that service IC go to the Commons or downtown about every half hour from two different bus stops on campus. The buses also have a route to the mall and to nearby Cornell University. If someone needs to transfer buses, the bus drivers will provide a transfer pass when asked, so students don't have to pay the bus fee again. For the most part, although the TCAT can be frustrating, it does get you where you need to go as long as you are not on a time crunch.
Ithaca College offers discount bus passes to students, in the form of monthly or semester passes that can be bought on the TCAT website, if you plan on taking the bus often. At IC, if you have a car or know someone with a car, this is very valuable and can help you to avoid the bus commute and alleviate the stressfulness of getting around in the unbearably cold weather. If students want to fly home, their main option is the small Ithaca-Tompkins Regional Airport or the Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Both airports are very small, so ticket prices can be high, and flight options can be limited.