OurBus is expanding service to an additional vaccination site near Syracuse. The route begins running on Sunday April 4t and will depart from Downtown Ithaca with stops at Cortland, Syracuse University, and the New York State Fairgrounds.
This new route is initially aimed at providing a means for Tompkins and Cortland County residents to access the vaccination site. However, the service is not limited to just those with a vaccine appointment. Any passengers needing transportation between these cities are welcome to book a ticket. In fact, the route will continue between Ithaca, Cortland, and Syracuse for the foreseeable future.
“Right now, our top priority is giving people another travel option to get to the vaccination site. We all know how essential vaccines are to individual and collective mobility. We will do everything we can to support people in getting vaccinated. As vaccination numbers increase and the pandemic wanes, we know this route will be useful to the broader public who want a car-free way to get around.” said OurBus Co-founder Axel Hellman.
Hellman did clarify that it's unclear at this point whether rides to the Fairgrounds will be free like the rides to the Binghamton site are.
On weekdays, the bus will leave from the OurBus stop at East Seneca Street in downtown Ithaca at 9:30 a.m., reaching the State Fairgrounds at 11 a.m. The return trip leaves at 2 p.m. and reaches Ithaca at 3:30 p.m..
On Sundays, two round trips will be offered. Buses leave Ithaca at 11:30 a.m. and 4:40 p.m., and start their return trip from the State Fairgrounds at 3 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.
Initially, this route will only run six days a week. Saturday service will be added in the near future.
Eventually, the schedule will be increased to run several times per day, every day, as travel volumes increase, allowing customers multiple options to conduct errands, go to appointments, and see friends and family.
When operations at the vaccine distribution site wrap up, the endpoint of the route will be shifted to Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), to provide a link for travelers connecting to or from various airlines. This service will be in place in time to welcome college students flying in during move-in time in August for the start of the fall semester.
Buses and OurBus Door<To>Door cabs are under strict social distancing policies. Occupancy is limited to keep an empty seat next to each individual traveler. Masks are required for the entire trip, hand sanitizer is available, and extra cleaning is being done according to CDC guidelines.
Tickets can be purchased by the passenger or a family member, friend or caregiver at OurBus.com or on the OurBus App. If vaccination plans change, tickets can be cancelled or rescheduled without fees up to 30 minutes before departure, that’s the OurBus Assurance.