Despite the wide range of actions being taken by the University of Miami to cope with the struggling economy, the beloved Ibis Ride is in no immediate danger of facing frequency shortages.
“University cutbacks have not impacted the Ibis Ride to date,” said Nanette Vega, the assistant dean of students. “The Ibis Ride is funded mostly by private donors.”
In spite of what President Donna E. Shalala called “significantly worsened” economic conditions in a message sent to all members of the university community on Feb. 10, the Ibis Ride will not face any abrupt cutbacks and is more popular than ever among the student body.
According to Dean Vega, the amount of students who use the Ibis Ride increases by 1,500 to 3,000 students each year. Last semester alone, 14,000 students took advantage of university-provided transportation to the Grove. The busiest night for the Ibis Ride was Thursday, on which approximately 500 students rode the bus, compared to the weekend when approximately 800 to 1,000 students used the bus.
With the increase in ridership has also come a significant decrease in violations reported of students on board the Ibis Ride.
“Ridership is way up and consequently the frequency of violations is lower,” Ricardo Hall, dean of students, said. “After awareness of the problems we were having went up, there was a sharp improvement in behavior. We are in a different place now.”
Despite the overall improvement in student behavior, the Dean of Students office still plans to monitor the manners and conduct of those using the Ibis Ride, looking to ensure those working on the bus are treated with the utmost respect.
“It irks me that some people are still disrespectful,” Hall said. “It’s more a nuisance than over-the-top bad behavior, but getting sick on the bus or disrespecting the driver or the monitor is completely contrary to why the Ibis Ride is there.”