Ithaca Carshare is here for your essential trips in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a shared travel mode that doesn’t require sharing an enclosed space with a driver or other passengers from outside your own household, carsharing can be a safe way to get to the places you still need to go. In tandem with the Tompkins County Health Department, we encourage Ithaca Carshare drivers and passengers to consider Density, Distance, Face Coverings, and Symptoms before deciding to travel somewhere.
The requirements and suggestions below are in place to prevent the potential for spread of COVID-19 in carshare vehicles. They are there to keep you, your fellow carshare members, and our staff team healthy and safe. With your care and cooperation, Ithaca Carshare and other forms of shared transportation will continue to be a safe, economical, and sustainable way to travel. Stay up to date on all local health guidance for COVID-19 at https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health.
What we are doing to keep our drivers and passengers safe:
- Disinfection of all common touchpoints in the vehicles on a weekly basis. Our full disinfecting protocol is available here.
- Full interior and exterior cleaning of every car every other week or more frequently as needed.
- Provision of hand sanitizer in each vehicle.
- Provision of prominent signage on vehicles reminding vehicle users of mask wearing requirement.
- Offering a pre-trip disinfection service by request for high risk members (24 hour notice by email or phone is required).
What we require of our drivers and passengers:
- All passengers must bring and wear a face covering that covers both mouth and nose whenever inside a car. This mandate is part of an Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo.
- All passengers should use the provided hand sanitizer when entering a car. Please report to us if it is low or missing.
- Carshare vehicles MAY NOT be used by anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have had a known or possible exposure to COVID-19 within 14 days.
- All members must report any exposure or symptoms (in themselves or their passengers) if they occur within 14 days of using carshare.
- Remove all of your items and trash from the vehicles when you exit.
What we suggest for our drivers and passengers:
- Start and end your trip with the windows open for a few minutes.
- Avoid or limit passengers from outside your own household.
- Glasses wearers may consider using tissue or tape at the top of their mask to prevent fogging.
- Leave a 15-30 minute time buffer between your booking and a prior one.
- Bring your own disinfecting wipes to use on common touch points.
Please also keep in mind the following:
- Surface transmission of COVID-19 is not thought to be the main way the disease spreads.
- Each carshare vehicle sees anywhere from 1-5 bookings per day.
- Carshare vehicles may be used to access COVID-19 test sites ONLY if the driver and any passengers are asymptomatic and have no known or potential exposures (e.g. essential workers with a testing mandate for work or those getting tested prior to surgery).
- All others should call 2-1-1 to arrange transport to the test site at the Shops at Ithaca Mall or use the walk-up testing site in Downtown Ithaca.
December 2, 2020
A new walk-in COVID-19 testing site has opened in Downtown Ithaca at 412 N. Tioga Street, open at limited capacity by appointment.
August 27, 2020
Overnight booking restrictions have been lifted. The frequency of vehicle disinfections has reduced as research continues to show that surface contact is not a primary way that COVID-19 spreads. Higher risk members may consider bringing their own disinfecting wipes to their booking, or request a pre-disinfection service for their trip (at least 24 hours in advance).
July 29, 2020
Overnight booking restrictions are shortened to be from 12a-6a. Members may contact us during the day make special requests for bookings during this time.
July 3, 2020
As the Southern Tier enters Phase 4 of the New York Forward plan, Ithaca Carshare vehicles may be used for visits to the testing site at the Shops at Ithaca Malls when all passengers of the vehicle are asymptomatic and have had no known or potential exposures to COVID-19 for 14 days. Examples include essential workers who are getting tested for work or to fulfill pre-surgical testing requirements.
Follow the links below for full details about how the Center for Community Transportation is acting in accordance with NYS Department of Health Guidance while operating the carshare fleet, Bike Walk Tompkins’ bike library and bike skills classes, and our office space at 315 N. Aurora Street.
Poster – We are following NYS Guidance During COVID-19
CCT COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan
June 4, 2020
As the Southern Tier enters Phase 2 of the New York Forward plan, we are seeing increased use of carsharing. Ithaca Carshare is committed to staying in touch with state and local health guidelines as we begin to lift some driving restrictions that were put in place in the past months. In the coming days, all Ithaca Carshare members will be able to make their own bookings online again, and some vehicle locations may start to be added back as demand increases. Overnight blocks will remain in place. For necessary bookings that span 11pm-7am hours, special requests may be made by calling in advance.
April 17, 2020
Public transit and for-hire vehicle drivers and passengers must now wear face coverings, and everyone should wear them when out in public per Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18, effective 8pm April 17, 2020. Please follow these new public health guidelines while using Ithaca Carshare vehicles. Check out Tompkins Mask Makers to purchase a mask, or DIY it with this guide from the CDC.
March 17, 2020
In this rapidly changing situation, our staff and board are working to balance your transportation needs with appropriate protective measures. Going forward, as responsible public health stewards, we will be limiting Ithaca Carshare service. In response to public health guidance to avoid non-essential travel and to allow our staff to safely complete a thorough daily cleaning of each vehicle, we are implementing the following changes effective immediately:
- Requiring all bookings be made by phone. You’ll now notice a banner on the booking site that says your booking privileges have been suspended. You can still make bookings if needed, just give us a call! To make sure we catch your call, please call 607-277-3210 x2. When you call, we’ll remind you to avoid non-essential travel, and we’ll confirm you and none of your passengers have symptoms, are going fo r testing, or are under quarantine. We will also review appropriate personal protective actions, and remind you to let us know if the hand sanitizer is missing from the vehicle.
- Reduced number of cars available. You’ll notice long bookings preventing you from using some vehicles. With the departure of much of the Cornell student community, we expect a reduced fleet size to be able to fully serve our carsharing community with reduced travel activities. You may need to adjust your favorites or walk a couple extra blocks. We will monitor bookings and adjust fleet availability as needed.
- Elimination of overnight bookings (11p-7a). Most 24-hour stores have reduced their hours. No overnight bookings helps reduce non-essential travel and allows our staff adequate time to clean cars daily. If necessary, familiarize yourself with alternative options for overnight travel (taxi, ride-hailing).
- The Ithaca Carshare office is closed. We’ll still be answering phones 24/7, but our staff will be working from home except as absolutely necessary. If you need to make a cash deposit, you can go to Alternatives Federal Credit Union (125 N. Fulton St) at the drive-through or walk-up and specify that you are making a deposit to the Ithaca Carshare 3100 account, and be sure to indicate your name so we can credit your account. Special arrangements for in-person office visits may be made when necessary.
- Increased cleaning measures: Each vehicle that remains in service will be cleaned daily with a disinfectant on high touch areas.
These are big changes and we don’t yet know how long they will be necessary. We know that Ithaca Carshare is essential for some community members. It is our hope that these significant changes will allow us to continue to provide limited service throughout the COVID-19 response while safeguarding public health as a responsible member of our community.
- If you have an existing booking, please double check your account to confirm if there have been location, vehicle, or vehicle-type changes.
- If you are moving away from Ithaca, please contact us to close your account. This will prevent unexpected charges from a renewal later in the year.
- Please continue to sanitize your hands before and after using shared vehicles, and avoid touching your face.
- DO NOT use Ithaca Carshare vehicles to go to a testing center, if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, if you know you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case, or if you are in quarantine. If you or a passenger later develops symptoms, please alert both us and the Tompkins County Health Department.
- We cannot guarantee that Carshare vehicles will be fully sanitized when you start your trip. Please understand that, as always, your use of Ithaca Carshare is at your own risk.
For more information on symptoms and prevention, head to the CDC’s website. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.