Even on a small campus like Springfield College, walking from one side to another at night can be quite the hike, and the distance between the Townhouses and International Hall is never a fun walk. On this campus, a handful of students meet the qualifications and land the job of a Pride Ride Driver. When students see those flashing green lights during snow storms in the winter or when they’re scared to walk alone at night, it becomes their knight in shining armor.
One specific Pride Ride Driver has become many students’ savior on this campus. His name is Chuck Lane. Lane works Tuesdays and Sundays during the week while majoring in Recreational Management and minoring in Coaching. He is also an assistant coach on the baseball team and gives a lot of his teammates a ride.
Graduating from the Sports and Medical Science Academy in Hartford, Lane grew up in Manchester, CT. This isn’t his first driving job; he had a previous job as a Chinese food deliveryman where he gained some experience for this job.
The process of becoming a Pride Ride Driver is pretty complex. You apply online but the qualifications are pretty specific. You have to be at least 20 years old and have possessed a license for at least 3 years. On top of that, you are not allowed to have any outstanding tickets, but it’s worth it.
“I get to meet a lot of new and interesting people and have a lot of fun conversations,” said Lane.
Pride Rides help around 80 people on the weekends from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and 50 to 60 people on the weeknights from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. There are two drivers on the weekends and only one during the week. While being a Pride Ride Driver doesn’t seem too difficult, they have to pay attention to make sure nothing is wrong with the car and keep track of all the rides they give. They drive around campus and park in lots only on campus to give students rides; students can call Public Safety to request a ride and it is dispatched over to the drivers.
“Getting a ride with Pride Ride is like hitting the lottery,” says senior Ryan Quesenberry. “I think it’s a really good idea, especially with how the surrounding area can get. I think it’s really good to have this as a safe alternative.”
Lane usually takes only one 15-minute break during his shift and tries to get to everyone he can. The stories that come with the job are priceless, especially on the weekends. There are always a lot of interesting people who need rides around campus, and Lane has gotten a lot of experience with them.
Lane, along with the other Pride Ride Drivers, try to make everyone’s experience using Pride Ride enjoyable. Although it can be tough to find a Pride Ride on campus because there are so few of them, it is really rewarding when you can get a ride.
Being a Pride Ride Driver means you get to interact with a lot of different people, and on a small campus like Springfield College, a lot of the people are your friends or people you know. The experience this job gives you is very rewarding and the people you interact with are some of the best parts.
“I like getting to socialize with people because I am a very social person so I think it fits me well,” said Lane.