Her Campus UMaine Celebrity: The RAGE Bus
The Rage Bus Rolls Through Orono
For $3 per person, the Rage Bus is more than a convenient ride. Through the windows of the party bus, neon lights dart side to side and a variety of up-beat tunes fill the air. Smiling faces take up the twelve seats, and a night on the town has begun for Orono’s latest celebrity.
The clever service started in the beginning of October and has now expanded after great success. Two buses now herd bar goers back and forth from Orono’s bar district to Kingman’s bar in Old Town.
On any given weekend, groups of students can be found gathered in the Pine Street parking lot, pushing and shoving to form some resemblance of a line, in hopes to score a spot on the bus. The vehicle pulls into the designated area every half-hour and sits and waits for its loyal customers for a minute or two — bumping with music and with flashing strobe lights.
The limousine-licensed bus provides patrons with a sober driver and plenty of excitement. Normally playing a variety of up-beats tunes, the ride is nothing short of entertaining.
“I’ve had groups of kids dancing in their seats, singing along with the music for the entire 7 minute ride from Orono into Old Town, the bus was practically shaking.” Said Allie DeMicheal, driver of one bus.
For bar goers in the Orono area, travel across town lines has always been a factor when hitting the bars. The convenience of taxis has been a benefit for locals, but the Rage Bus has taken transportation to the next level.
“The Rage Bus is awesome. What taxi can fit 12 of your friends and have a dance party at the same time?” Said Sallie Hardy, Fourth year student.
The students that travel in packs around town take full advantage of the bus. The fixed price is half as much as any taxi ride across town and Allie DeMicheal and Steve Marchessault, both students at the university and drivers of the Rage Bus, add a little flare to the ride.
“Allie is so much fun, she is always making sure we are having a good time and plays the best music. She’s always welcoming me on board with a happy face.” Said Katie Logue, fourth year student.
The bus kicks off the fun at 10 p.m. and the last ride is at 1a.m. During those three hours a lot can happen. Rumors have been spread and stories have been told of crazy events that could only happen on the one and only Rage Bus.
The drivers stay true to their customers and sometimes even take pick up requests. The regular riders of the bus sometime get VIP treatment if the bus is not too busy.
“One night we were having a party at our house and we called Kingman’s and asked the bus to make a couple runs to our house off North Main, it was great. The party attendants were very impressed.” Said Morgan Champaoux, Fourth year student.
The Rage Bus is building its reputation and has literally been, the “rage” of the town. With convenience in mind, owner of Kingman’s Tim Taylor is very pleased with the success of the rage bus. Initially starting the service with one bus and a charge of $2 per ride, the service was mainly for his peers and regulars who admit it was tough to get across town with lack of transportation.
With a no strategic business plan in mind, Owner Tim Taylor has made a decent profit from the service and is happy to admit the revenues pay the gas charges.
By the time 1:00am roles around, half a tank of gas has been used up, and the Pine Street crowd dies down. The last run from Kingman’s back to Pine Street sets a scene like no other. People push and shove, as if they were fighting for their last breathe, staggering to the edge of the curb struggling to be the last twelve to get a ride home. Quite impressive, the fight the patrons will put up to give away their last three dollars saved specifically for the ride. As for those left behind, the taxis are there to pick up the slack.
photo credit: google images