To kick off the 2012-2013 academic year, the program attracted 88 volunteers to give 936 people rides home. The average wait time was less than 45 minutes. By comparison, last year’s first weekend had 112 RamRide volunteers and provided rides to 1,191 people. The average wait time was more than an hour.
“It’s kind of one of those things where the first weekend is always hard to find volunteers. Everyone’s just come back to school,” said RamRide Director Becky Ewing. “ …Those numbers are going to go up and they do every year.”
Ewing explained that recruiting students this fall to help with program’s inaugural weekend was especially difficult.
“In previous years, we really hit ASCSU members up to help out those first few weekends,” she said. “We’re really trying not to hit up the same people over and over.”
Even still, organizations like Greek life have “really stepped up this semester and are taking a lot of shifts these first few weeks,” she said.
Kevin Johnson, an undeclared freshman, volunteered to help out with RamRide for the first time on Friday night, saying he decided to help out when his RA told him what he was doing.
“I was just looking to get involved,” Johnson said. “I just kinda jumped into it, and it’s been going pretty well so far.”
ASCSU President Regina Martel echoed Johnson’s assessment.
“I went in to volunteer on Thursday night since it was the first night of RamRide,” she said. “I thought they might need more volunteers or need some help with something, but they didn’t even need me.”
The city’s new late night bus –– an ASCSU-sponsored program that picks up students from Old Town bars from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. over the weekend –– could have also attributed to the fact that 225 more people were given rides home last year.
“There were less rides given home, but there could also have been less calls coming in,” Ewing said.
The director attributed the decrease in wait time to the people she had staffing RamRide this year.
“What made starting this year easier than others to start out was the fact that we had a lot of returning staff,” Ewing said. “Instead of spending a lot of time on training new people we just got started with the semester.”