Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

CrimsonRide hands out gum to students

To show their appreciation, CrimsonRide drivers began passing out nearly 3,000 packs of gum Wednesday with stickers saying, “Thank you for sticking with us.”

The event was put on by CrimsonRide as a way for the bus drivers to show their appreciation for the support of the student body and the University community during the negotiations with First Transit.

“We have a great team, and we wanted to do something to let people know that it was a team effort and not just one individual,” said Ralph Clayton, assistant director of transportation at the University.

The drivers discussed how to make students aware of their appreciation. They decided on passing out the gum and were excited about getting to thank their riders.

“We are giving out the packs of gum because it s a cute way of saying thanks for being there for us. It really helps that all of the students were there for us. We have to stick together,” said Felicia Graves, one of the drivers.

Graves said she has been driving CrimsonRide buses off and on since fall 2007. She said many students know her by name and were surprised and gratified to receive their packs of gum.

While limited bus service merely inconvenienced a number of students during the recent bus strike, some found the lack of transportation impossible to cope with.

David Rissling, a junior majoring in music therapy who is blind, said it was exceedingly difficult for him to go to his classes without the reliability of the CrimsonRide.

“I am totally blind, so I need the bus service. I am so thankful that the bus strike is over. I did agree that they deserve more pay than they were receiving before the strike, and I am happy this issue has been resolved,” Rissling said.

As a result of the strike, Rissling said he had to rely on University vans to pick him up at unreliable, intermittent intervals and was late for class several times during the strike.

“It was a big challenge, one that I am so glad is over,” Rissling says. “I am fully supportive of the bus drivers, however, because they help me out so much. I definitely appreciate that they are showing their support for the student body.”

Rissling said he is optimistic and is not holding a grudge about his lack of transportation during the strike. He laughed as he turned down the gum he was offered because he does not like the smell or taste of it.

“I don’t like bubblegum, but I definitely appreciate that the drivers are showing that they are glad to be serving the students at the University of Alabama. It’s a great way to bring everyone together,” Rissling said.

Christopher Hydrack, a junior majoring in international studies, said he is just glad the buses are back in service.

“I was indifferent about the strike in the first place, but I am thrilled that I no longer have to walk to Moody Music every day,” Hydrack said.

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