More Butts, Fewer Seats!

traffic jam

Back when Black Rock City’s population would barely overwhelm an In ‘n’ Out drive-thru, let alone the two-lane highways leading to the Black Rock Desert, the Burning Man Rideshare board was just a handy way for people to catch a ride to the playa.

But with our burgeoning population — and hopes of burgeoning it yet more — ridesharing has become a necessity to ensure the long-term survival of the Burning Man event in Black Rock City (we say “in Black Rock City” because there are 60+ Burning Man events around the world … but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here). The environmental impact aside, the reality is our favorite two-laners to nowhere just can’t take the traffic. So the Rideshare board? Very important.

The board was getting seriously long in the tooth and creaky at the knees, so we sent in our crack tech team to beef, clean, and pretty it up, and then add flight sharing into the Black Rock City Airport (or any other airport for that matter … but there we go getting ahead of ourselves again) and other cool features to help you find the ideal seat for your butt.


OK so here’s the really cool part: we’re making our Rideshare board available to any Burning Man Regional event to manage their own carpooling efforts. That’s right, we’re taking our sustainability efforts global. Any of the 60+ Burning Man Regional events around the world will be able to facilitate carpooling and flight-sharing using this system (whether they do or not is up to them).

Wait, flight-sharing what? Yes, that’s right. If you’ve got an extra seat to share on your plane, we got that covered too — whichever airport you’re using.

Cool huh? OK so say it with us: More Butts, Fewer Seats!

Now … get in there, and find your ride.

About the author: Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man Project's Communications Team.

15 Comments on “More Butts, Fewer Seats!

  • Leon says:

    What happens when almost every vehicle is full of people, rather than supplies? A significant portion of attendees go out there with nothing, expecting to receive what they need to survive by depending on the kindness of strangers. It’s kinda like a sport to many people.

    I’ve always brought more than I needed to give away to these people who inevitably show up to camp in near desperation for protein, water and shelter. But that’s not going to happen this year as my extra space for additional supplies is going to be taken up by additional passengers and their bare essentials. I doubt I’m the only one who simply can’t take extra supplies due to the limit on vehicle passes.

    And this problem will be compounded by more people being forced to rely on the kindness of strangers for their survival (lucky enough to bring a backpack full of beef jerky), in addition to those who do it for sport.

    These people will overrun the med tents when they start passing out after they’ve gone to camp after camp begging for supplies that won’t be available because so few could bring extra to provide. BM could end up a humanitarian clusterfuck.

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    • Will Chase says:

      That is some truly impressive hyperbole, Leon.

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    • Nat says:

      Why would you consciously cater for people who don’t practice radical self reliance?

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      • Leon says:

        It’s a gifting community, and these ‘through-the-kindness-of-strangers types’ aren’t going away. They started plopping themselves into my camp around 2006 and it’s gotten worse every year. It was a choice to either help them or send them off to the next camp. I suppose it’s a bit like ‘don’t feed the squirrels’, and perhaps you can blame folks like me who have enabled them to survive in this sort of beggar fashion. But the damage is done.

        I might be able to spare some water this year, but food is out of the question, so is booze. We decided not to bring out our bar this year to make space.

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    • Kari Larson says:

      Your rideshare board is down…

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    • Shaggert says:

      Leon, maybe it’s time to take a year off for you. Your crust sounds a little thick with burden. It might be a refreshing break to restore your enthusiasm.

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  • Pardo Bear says:

    I’m part of a camp that had 70 members last year. We arrived on playa with one large truck, one work van, 3 small RVs, and maybe 6-8 cars. Most of our camp brought the bare essentials on the bus, or packed into the cars. Our truck carried everything everyone needed though, including huge water tanks. While it requires more planning, a single 16′ truck stores as much stuff as 80 car trunks, or 20 large SUV trunks. If you organize yourselves and your friends, or join an established camp, you can get away with 3-4 people per regular passenger car, and one truck per group to actually transport all that stuff that “won’t fit in cars” because of the vehicle pass thing. Plus it saves space, gas, and time in line. Move to a system of mostly buses and trucks, and the Playa could probably double its population. My understanding is the the BLM limits our permitted size because of the road in, not because of the size of the black rock desert. Make this bottleneck less intense, and we can maybe grow some more, so everyone who wants to come can come again.

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  • Erich Rienecker says:

    It appears that under the *rule of unintended consequences*, we are discouraging individual camps and encouraging larger (more organized and expensive) camps…

    That said….
    Wouldn’t it be *cool* if we could use the *train tracks* that pass on the eastern side of the Playa? No traffic, Plenty of capacity, Theme (rail)car possibilities, larger, wider, heavier, mutant vehicles and art transport?

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    • bsisr says:

      Now that’s a great idea, I wonder who owns it? who operates it? (the RR?) I bet all it would take is an enterprising person to make your suggestion happen (hint, hint) Honestly those really great ideas (like yours), are pretty easily accomplished when someone starts to research, and contact the people necessary. Power to you, and the new soul train:-)

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  • Zen Hill says:

    I’m sure the Rideshare Board will be a big help getting people connected. I hope those seeking are blessed with safe travels and great new friendships!

    For many, many reasons, it is not possible for my husband and I to attend if we don’t get a vehicle pass. We are in the STEP line (signed up for a ticket we don’t need) just to buy a vehicle pass and are also praying for the OMG sale.

    The following options are what I have read and I don’t know what is true anymore:

    Not to worry, there were extras last year at the gate so there will be plenty.
    Just get in line and buy one at the gate.
    There will be many passes available through STEP.
    Reach out to the burner community through e-playa.
    You can buy one off the internet. (How does face value work on passes?)
    Every low income ticket has a pass at Will Call and they may not need all of them so wait in line for an extra.

    I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation.
    Seeking answers and/or a miracle.
    We NEED to get home.

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  • Scooby says:

    first timer.

    almost 100 miles across the desert with no facilities.

    what if you need to stop and do the “doo”?

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  • Aperture says:

    I’d like to complain, and I’m looking for a good avenue to register, said drivel. Is there anybody in the BORG who will listen to me wine for a good solid 12 minutes while I get my vocal cords in fighting shape. I’d like to schedule 15 minutes, but I need to buy some fur on amazon and focus more time on my outfits. To add to that, I’m planning on someone stealing my megaphone, and getting salty about it on thursday. Hopefully my paranoia will reach a boiling point and I’ll be spitting whiskey at whomever shows up in a compact car in enough time to return to some overly spiritual state of passivity before the man burns. I really just need someone to listen to me offload while I work it out in my own head just who’s to blame, because I’m almost positive that it is not I. And yes, there’s definitely and i in community, so there.

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  • Hi there fellow fellows, i will be traveling with a big group from germany to black rock city. after the burn our paths will be different. therefore.. i am looking for a ride to los angeles after the burn.. monday or tuesday..
    whenever i try to open the rideshare site, it’s a big blank.
    please… help :-)
    thanks you so much!! xx

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  • DR.SCIENCE says:

    I’d like to bring my rv with friends on board. But Im not so sure I want to become an island for those who show up with no means of support. It takes away from the experience if you have to go and become a way station for any one and every one. I have no problem with volunteering. Im an engineer, carpenter, not much I cant do. So I will participate but I just don’t want to be a haven for freeloaders.

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