So I am a college student planning on volunteering for the NE District Greater Boston Event this March. I currently live about a 20 minute drive from the event on MIT’s campus, but do not have a car or a license. I was thinking about taking public transport, but that takes about 45 minutes to an hour longer, and depending on what time I need to be there in the morning, I am a little bit worried that I may run a little bit late and end up being super late to the competition, but currently I am thinking that this may be my best option for getting there. (Especially since Boston has great public transport.)
(Walking really isn’t an option either since it would take a few hours to walk there. )
I am planning on volunteering all three days of the event (although it is possible that this might change) and it costs about 20 dollars each way to take an Uber from where I am, which is pretty expensive.
My question to anyone who has volunteered for competitions and been in a situation like mine (or anyone who has some insights to share) is what would you do in this circumstance? I am currently thinking that public transport is the way to go, since it is a lot cheaper than taking an uber, but are there other alternatives that may take a little less time? Are there ways for volunteers to get in contact with other volunteers to potentially carpool with, or something similar?
Thanks in advance!
Ask your VC if there’s anybody else in your area, and ask them if they can ask that person/people if they’ve got space for a volunteer carpool.
Expanding on this a bit: I’ve carpooled with other volunteers on an occasional basis. Generally it’s someone I know, who’s going the same general direction. Sometimes it’s from the event and sometimes it’s from home. So it’s definitely an option, just needs to be made known that someone does need a ride.
Thanks so much! Do you know where I can find the VC’s contact info? I tried checking the volunteer registration site and the event site but I couldn’t find contact info or a name. (Sorry if this is something that is pretty well known, this is my first time volunteering for an FRC event.)
I’m living in the south end and I’ll be at Greater Boston for all 3 days. I have a car and would be able to carpool.
You’d contact New England District folks for that.
OR, when you register, there’s a space to put a message for the VC. Clearly state that you need a ride if possible.
This is what I see on the FIRST volunteering page.
When you got the email with your volunteer assignment, it should have included the name of the event VC, and instructions to contact them using the Message Coordinator option above.
Alternatively, you can go to https://www.nefirst.org/frc-2022-covid-19-response. Scroll down the page and find the document for Greater Boston, and I believe in there you’ll find name/contact info for the VC.
Yay! I never thought I’d see my other favorite topic besides robotics on CD: public transit, and especially the T! Just tangentially (obviously a carpool is the best method if possible), while public transit is slower, it’s should be only about 53 min (30 min longer) according to google maps. The main issue points are walking from DTX to State and walking from Revere Beach or Wonderland to Revere High (or taking the bus). Just in case the carpool falls through, as long as you’re not carrying a ton, the T should be ok
Thanks! Yeah I was thinking that if I couldn’t find someone to carpool with, getting on the T at Kendall Square and going from there would be the best option, but I am also a little worried about getting lost and being late lol.
When I volunteered at the New England Championship in 2018 which was in Boston, I drove to a parking lot outside the city and took the T in. (I have kind of the opposite problem as you, where I live very outside of Boston and drive everywhere, but I’d still prefer to avoid driving and parking in Boston if at all possible.) It worked just fine; I just needed to allocate enough time to get there.
So as others are saying, public transport or carpooling are both fine options. There are enough people going to each event that there probably is another volunteer or team that’s going near where you live anyway. The tricky part is finding them, but posting here as you’ve done and contacting the Volunteer Coordinator can probably get you some leads. (And maybe worst case, even if you take a longer or more expensive trip to get there the first day than you would like, you may be able to ask around and find someone there to bring you back that day and/or give you a ride on later days.) if due to train schedules or whatever you might be late, you can probably just work with the volunteer coordinator and let them know and it probably won’t be a big deal.
And THANK YOU for volunteering!
I guess I’m just used to taking an Uber to Revere multiple times a year. It’s not a bad deal if you’re working, but that can sometimes be a big “if” for a college student.
I used to just get up early enough in the morning to take the train in Chicago to the midwest regional every year.
This year I plan on taking a cab from home in İstanbul though depending on if I can find a cab - otherwise metro, but the metro might not be running early enough for me (it starts at 6 am, which is usually about when I try to be in the building - though I don’t neeeeeed to be there till 7).
I’ve had several VCs connect me with local folks when I was volunteering in places I didn’t know. I’ve also found places to stay and gotten other valuable insight. Highly recommend contacting your VC.
We just want someone to talk to us!
Another alternative you might think about is getting an ebike. They can go pretty fast and you can even get one that folds for easy storage. As a college student an ebike would probably be very useful and could be faster than waiting for public transit, or at times when it’s inconvenient to catch a bus. (Such as really tight scheduling)
Regular bike can be cheaper, and (depending on the rider/bike combo) possibly faster, at the expense of being more tiring.
Also consider: electric scooters, one-wheels, etc.
Caveat: if you’re taking any of those, contact the VC ahead of time to ask where the parking for them is; FIRST doesn’t like the smaller ones in the venue.
This is a good idea if I don’t carpool! I don’t personally have a bike but getting a blue bike would take less time most likely and it takes about 10 less minutes to get there.
I’m a big fan of the bike-train-bike where you bring your bike onto the train (or bus!) with you. Unfortunately you can’t do this on the green line or during rush hour.
See here for more details: Bikes | MBTA
Blue Bikes is probably a better option, at least to get from Wonderland to Revere High, since you might run into the Blue Bikes time limit (or your leg’s effort limit) trying to go all the way from Kendall to Revere High.
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