Enjoy The Ride

Richard Humphrey ’74 delivers an experience like no other
by Katie Williard
All the world’s a stage, especially when you’re viewing it from a 49-passenger bus with 40 video screens, surround sound, floor-to-ceiling glass and sideways stadium seating.

“The street’s the stage as we move — that’s the paradigm,” explains Richard Humphrey ’74. Humphrey produces The Ride, an immersive tour that combines the art of performance with the grandiosity and glamour of the New York City streets. The 4.2-mile route through Midtown and Times Square includes stops at Columbus Circle, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.

Humphrey’s influence over the top attraction rerouted its direction and catapulted the level of performance — enough to attract over a million riders before COVID-19 closed down Broadway.

A portrait photograph of Richard Humphrey '74 smiling
Photo: Carol Rosegg
“I like to think of myself as a content creator across the spectrums,” says Richard Humphrey ’74.

“I needed to do something to refresh the brand,” he says, “So I originated a show in a pop-up black box theatre called Eyes on New York, and I wrote it as a metaphor for the city’s reopening.” When the reviews came in, they piqued new interest, and The Ride was soon back up and running.

Since reopening, The Ride has been named “a phenomenon” by The New York Times and “the hottest way to see New York” by the TODAY Show. “The fact that we’re mobile — we take you to the city and you can actually see it all, wrapped up and exposed and wonderful,” Humphrey says.

After studying art & art history at Bucknell, Humphrey achieved career success in a field that takes tenacity, trust and daring. Consistently reinventing his pursuit of a beautiful life, he has held the titles of director, gallery owner, digital art creator, sound algorithm developer and producer — not only of The Ride, but notably of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Buried Child, among others.

In reflection of his ever-evolving professional interest, he says, “Any time I’ve gotten bored with something, I’ve asked, ‘What do I have to bring to something else?’ And, ‘What is my network?’ Professionally, I’ve always had a toolbox to fall back on.

“And if it weren’t for Bucknell, I would not have had this enchanted life.”