Two-thousand-seven marked the eighth straight year that the shuttle service has been in operation. The approximate two hour round trips from Center Camp to Gerlach, the Empire Store, and back once again, ran smoothly this year. A huge amount of credit is due to our vendor’s personnel, who are experts in timing and consistency. Their drivers are professional, friendly, and cautious. The staff is helpful and dutiful. The busses were only delayed due to weather conditions. No vehicles can “roll” in BRC during white-out dust storms!
In 2005 and 2006 there was a decline in riders by about 15%, probably due to the fact that individuals are becoming better prepared to face the elements, negating the need to restock any supply shortages. Hurray for increasing radical self-reliance! We shortened our schedule to reflect the decline: the busses operated starting on Wednesday at 10am, and ran every hour on the hour with the last bus departing at 4 pm. Thursday and Friday rides begin at 9 am, and the last bus on these days leaves at 4 pm. On Saturday, the earliest bus is 9 am, with the final bus of the week leaving at 3 pm Saturday.
Upon questioning individuals as to why they were temporarily leaving the Playa, a simple phone call was the reason most often given. Rumors have been spread though, that the $5 bus ticket also included one ride on the infamous “waterslide behind the water tower” in Gerlach!
Major kudos are due to DPW for constructing the shade structures at the ticket booth and the depot. Bike racks were plentiful and well-placed! The DPW sign shop came through as well, with a set of new signs to inform passengers of the dos and don’ts for riding the shuttle. As usual the ticket booth was spotless, except for a few pounds of playa dust that never seems to leave.
Having experienced a shortage of volunteers due to no-shows in recent years, our new manager ramped up the head count per shift, from two to three. This worked, and even in the face of no-shows there was enough help to get the job done without further recruiting. A huge thank-you to all the volunteers, especially those few who never hesitated to work an extra shift simply because they had so much fun!
I look forward to working with you all again next year!
Jim Wierzba aka jimmy….the kid