BURNER EXPRESS BUS SERVICE
In an effort to reduce traffic and limit the environmental impact of our event, Burning Man organizers are offering the Burner Express bus service with pickups in San Francisco and the Reno airport to Black Rock City and back. This service offers early arrival, speedier entrance, ticket pick up, reserved camping and quicker departures.
Burner Express is ideal for participants flying into the event and for Burners involved in art projects and theme camps having their gear hauled in by campmates.
We are currently working on the final details for 2014 Burner Express service, and they will be posted here and in the Jackrabbit Speaks in early February, but in the meantime, you can read the 2013 information below and get the gist of how the service works.
Tickets start at $60 one way from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and $95 one way from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Additional charges apply for extra luggage or for a stop at a grocery store in Reno. Departures begin from both locations Saturday, Aug. 24 and return trips begin Friday, Aug. 30.
Large motor coach buses will take Burners to Gerlach, where they will hop on smaller buses for the ride into Black Rock City. There will be a "bus only" lane to sidestep traffic backups at Gate and Greeters, and bus passengers will have their own Will Call station for speedier ticket pick up. (Please note: ONLY Burner Express and Green Tortoise buses are permitted in the bus lane.)
Once inside BRC, bus riders have the option of camping in a reserved camping section on the 6 o'clock access road or taking shuttles out to 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock along G Street.
For more information, see the FAQ below. To reserve tickets, visit the Burner Express website.
BURNER EXPRESS FAQ
Q. What is Burner Express?
A. Burner Express is a bus service managed by Burning Man and a vendor that transports Burners from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco and Reno-Tahoe International Airport to Black Rock City and back.
Q. How does it work?
A. Burners will board well-appointed, comfortable buses at locations in San Francisco and Reno airport with their luggage. They will transfer to smaller buses in Gerlach for the final leg into Black Rock City. There will be a "bus only" lane to sidestep traffic backups at Gate and Greeters and passengers will have their own Will Call station for speedier ticket pick up.
Q. Where do I camp?
A. Once inside BRC, bus riders have the option of camping in a reserved camping section on the 6 o'clock access road or taking shuttles out to 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock along G Street. If you are part of a registered theme camp or meeting up with a group of friends, you are welcome to make your way to your camp's location once inside BRC. The shuttles will stop along the way to 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock to drop off passengers and their gear but won't detour from their route.
Burning Man has reserved an area at 6 o'clock and G street for bus riders who are tent camping. That area will be reserved until it is full or until Tuesday afternoon when we expect most bus passengers will have arrived.
Q. What about food and water?
A. Each bus is accompanied by a truck that will carry your gear into Black Rock City. You'll still need to bring all your food with you. For an extra fee, some of the buses will stop at a grocery store in Reno for people who need to finish their shopping.
Q. What about trash?
A. You will be responsible for disposing of the trash. We are looking at options for making a stop in Gerlach or elsewhere where we will be able to offload trash.
Q. Does the bus system have a schedule?
A. The schedule of departure and return trips is listed on the Burner Express website.
Q. When do departures for the playa begin?
A. Bus departures for the playa begin from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco and Reno-Tahoe International Airport on Saturday, Aug. 24. Departures continue through Saturday, Aug. 31. The San Francisco buses leave at 10 a.m. and must have a minimum of 25 passengers.
Q. Where do I park?
A. In Reno you might consider long term parking at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. In San Francisco we suggest you use BART or have someone drop you off at the pick up location.
Q. When do return trips begin?
A. Bus departures from Black Rock City back to Reno airport and San Francisco begin Friday, Aug. 30 and continue through Monday, Sept. 2.
Q. Do I have to schedule a time to ride the bus?
A. When you purchase a ticket, you will need to specify a departure time.
Q. What if I miss my scheduled pick up?
A. We will do what we can to get you on another bus. That said, in the spirit of radical self-reliance, you are ultimately responsible for getting to the bus before your scheduled departure time.
Q. I'm arriving late at night. Do I have to wait?
Q. How much does this cost?
A. One way tickets from Reno airport begin at $60. One way tickets from San Francisco begin at $95. There are additional charges for excess baggage and if you want to make a shopping trip to a grocery store in Reno. The complete price list is on the Burner Express website.
Q. Where exactly do I find the bus at the Reno Airport?
A. At the arrivals baggage claim, look for "Burner Express" signage and staff wearing red BusBank shirts.
Q. What's the total estimated travel time to Black Rock City?
A. Our best estimate, which is HIGHLY dependent on traffic and road conditions, is that the ride from Reno to Gerlach will take between 2-3 hours and from San Francisco it'll be 6-7 hours to Gerlach. From Gerlach, it's another 8 miles into Black Rock City, and since you'll be expedited through Will Call, the Gate and Greeters, it's probably another 1-2 hours all told (there's a 10mph speed limit on Gate Road).
Q. Is there a limit on the amount of gear I can bring?
A. Yes. It is explained on the Burner Express website.
Q. How long will we have to shop at the Save Mart?
A. If you're taking the Reno bus to Gerlach with a shopping stop, you'll have about 45 minutes to shop. Have your shopping list ready to go to expedite the process.
Q. What's available at Save Mart market? Where is it located?
A. Learn about the Reno Save Mart here.
Q. Is there a shopping stop on the bus coming from San Francisco?
A. No. If you're traveling from San Francisco, please arrive with all of your needed items (food, water, etc.), as this bus provides express service to Black Rock City.
Q. What if I show up and there's no bus? Is there a phone number I can call?
A. You will be provided with a phone number for the team coordinating the bus program when you make your reservation. That number will be staffed 24/7 during bus operations and staff will be on site in San Francisco and Reno.
Q. If I find another ride or don't make it out, can I get my money back?
A. Sorry, no refunds.
Q. Can I just call when I arrive and get on the bus?
A. We will have a limited number of walk-up tickets available. You will need to have your Burning Man ticket in hand to purchase a walk-up ticket.
Q. When I make a reservation, do I get a ticket? How do I prove I have a reservation?
A. To make a reservation, you must have a valid Burning Man ticket number. When you purchase a ticket, you will receive a confirmation that you will need to bring with you to the bus.
Q. What if I get sick or something or just don't like the vibe this year? Can I leave the playa early?
A. You will need to find your own transportation if you choose to leave before departure bus service begins.