AFTERBURN REPORT 2001Burning Man Shuttle Bus
The Burning Man Shuttle Bus to Gerlach and Empire was well utilized in its second year of serving the citizens of Black Rock City. The bus service is intended to provide burners a way to get into the town of Gerlach and the Empire store without driving their vehicle. This year the Shuttle ran very much like last year, and with the same manager, so things went quite smoothly during the four days of operation. The busses were on schedule all week, and there were no reports of incidents or customer dissatisfaction.
The shuttle bus was publicized this year with a few pre-recorded public service announcements on the Black Rock City radio stations. Even so, there did not seem to be much unnecessary use of the shuttle. Many people learned about the service when inquiring at Playa Info about how to make a phone call, or about in-out privileges to get to a store.
Improvements in this year's Burning Man Shuttle Bus included the following:
- The DPW built and painted a ticket booth that can be reused in years to come. Large, colorful signs were painted to draw attention to both the ticket booth and the bus stop. (Note* The ticket booth needed a counter built on the inside for the ticket window, so the DPW was called on Monday and one was built on Tuesday. The DPW rules!)
- Playa Info was well informed of our schedule and volunteer needs a few days before our operation took flight. They were able to direct a few walk-up volunteers on Tuesday to help get signs painted for the ticket booth and bus stop. They were also able to locate a few volunteers for the ticket booth when we were short handed on two occasions.
- Money handling procedures were simplified this year so managers and cashier office people did not have to meet as often.
- The volunteers who signed up were tremendous. There were 20 people scheduled to cover 11 three-hour time slots. Two volunteers worked at every shift. Three of the volunteers worked two shifts and the other 17 worked one. There were only two no-shows all week.
There were a lot of passengers on Wednesday morning, several of them had been waiting since Tuesday. The only other real busy time was mid-day on Friday. The busses held 45 people, so a few bus runs were full, but most had plenty of breathing room.
The ticket booth located just behind Playa Info in Center Camp. The staffing for the booths was a volunteer team assembled completely over the internet. There were no pre-playa meetings required. Two volunteers manned the ticket booth at all times (almost). The Bus Stop was right across the street on Lover at Finger Ring. Its large shade structure with many benches was very well utilized this year. The bike racks located at the bus stop were also well utilized this year. Many thanks to the DPW building crew.