History in Ithaca
Located in Upstate New York, Tompkins County contains nine towns, six villages and is home to the City of Ithaca, one of the principal cities of the scenic Finger Lakes region. The City of Ithaca, which is centrally located within Tompkins County, is situated at the southern end of Lake Cayuga and serves as the activity hub for the County and indeed for a greater multi-county region. The area has several public transportation services, such as the TCAT (public bus service), Ithaca Carshare, and Zimride. All of these services do cost funds (such as, $1.50 per ride on the TCAT), therefore, it is not inclusive to every socio-economic status. Therefore, there is community to find inclusive transportation on ability, age, and other marginalized groups.
At a certain age, it has been found dangerous for older adults to have personal driver licenses. However, that age is not clearly defined by law. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, in New York, they can re-evaluate a driver of any age based on a specific reason, such as a driving incident or action reported by a doctor, police officer or observer. They also can restrict licenses to such things as daylight driving only.
According to the 2010 census, Ithaca’s population is made up of approximately 5.6% older adults. Therefore, there is a need for transportation services for older adults. According to the Tompkins County Coordinated Transportation Planning, “Transportation was the top unmet need identified in the 2008 Long Term Care (LTC) survey. Seniors identified transportation for medical appointments, including trips outside Tompkins County, as a high priority unmet need.” In addition, the Transportation Planning group stated, “Medicaid will pay the cost of transportation to medical appointments for eligible persons. However, there are significant gaps in transportation services necessary to make the Most Integrated Setting goal feasible, particularly for rural residents.”
The Gadabout is the largest provider for transportation in Tompkins County for older adults. In 2008, an estimate of 40% of their provided rides were for medical reasons. One of the goals from this council is to invest more in volunteer-ran transportation services, such as FISH.