Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:36 pm

New for 2014, all vehicles entering Black Rock City need to have a $40 vehicle pass. Please take some time to read this excellent blog post, which discusses the issue of traffic and vehicle passes in detail.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by TT120 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:19 pm

A little more than half of all the vehicle passes available will be sold before the main sale even begins. This might be an issue. 38000 tickets available and only about 17000 vehicle passes.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:23 pm

I'm seeing 35K vehicle passes in total. It's unlikely that people will be buying passes at 1:1, even if people don't step up their carpool/rideshare planning most vehicles have at least 2 passengers in them.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Bounce530 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:30 pm

Three questions that come to mind first are;
Here I am at the gate with a truck and trailer full of equipment, and my event ticket, but no vehicle pass. What happens then?
and, are the vehicle passes eligible for STEP? Then, is the pass a one time deal, or do you need a new one every time you pass through the gate?
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:34 pm

If vehicle passes are still available, they'd be sold at the gate. As for vehicle passes on STEP, that has not yet been made clear (details on STEP are still TBA).

My understanding is that a vehicle with a vehicle pass is good to go if it's making return trips. Just like when burners do ins/outs, you'd likely need to have tickets and passes with you when making the trip.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by maryanimal » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:52 pm

in the past few years to leave the playa was $20 per person/per vehicle. So does the $40. pass cover that?
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:06 pm

Vehicle passes do not cover your participant in/out fees.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by danibel » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:08 pm

I am going to pay full price for my ticket this year, but I noticed that the low income tickets do not come with an option for a vehicle pass. I wonder why that is. Are the people getting low income tickets expected to get a ride?

The OCF has had vehicle "stickers" for years. They are only $20 though, and there is a limited number available. It's one per two camping passes.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by maryanimal » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:33 pm

Thanks Trilo! What's an OCF? And what about handicap tags so disabled folks can drive on the playa?
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by motskyroonmatick » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:38 pm

My early take on the vehicle pass is… More moop abandoned at the event site and less room for individual camp and theme camp infrastructure.

80% of my theme camp's infrastructure would be left at home if I had to ride share with someone because no vehicle passes were available when I purchased my ticket. :shock:
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by C187 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:52 pm

My first take on the vehicle passes is that it's going to prevent some people from going that do not live close to the event. If you live far enough out in North America, where you have little to no local community of burners. It isn't as practical to fly out, since securing transportation for your gear isn't going to happen. Or the cost of doing so with airfare is higher than the cost of gas, or about the same. So then it becomes a question of convince. As far as ride shares go, if you don't have a burner community in your area, you're left with finding people on your way to the event. Which isn't as easy as it sounds.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by ranger magnum » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:00 pm

Another crappy idea by the org. No doubt brought to us by the same folks that came up with the lottery. Why not just add $20 to the ticket price instead of coming up with lame excuses for wanting more money? What exactly is the org going to do with the 1.4 million this vehicle pass fee is going to generate? If event population is the reason, then simply cap the attendance. Or better yet, charge people at the gate this fee. If there is one person in a car charge $40. Two people $20. Three or more and no charge. By capping the amount of passes, mass hysteria ensues. Don't think that these passes won't be scalpersscalped just like tickets were years ago.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by mdmf007 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:05 pm

OCF = Oregon Country Fair.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by maryanimal » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:15 pm

mdmf007 wrote:OCF = Oregon Country Fair.
~Thank you~ :D

ok, so if they only have 35k vehicle passes and 60k people are coming, what the heck happens to the other 25K people who bought tickets to come to the playa?


Still waiting to hear if disabled folks will have to pay to get a flag/sticker to drive around the playa...
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by C187 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:41 pm

Hey trilobyte, do you know if there is a limiting factor set for buying these passes? For instance you can only buy one per ticket. I don't see anything on the tickets page to indicate that. If there isn't then if everyone bought the maximum amount of passes allotted per sale type, they would run out during the group sale. Assuming each person only bought one ticket, and the maximum amount of vehicle passes.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by BBadger » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:04 am

I think they ought to just issue as many vehicle passes as are requested. After all, you can never really have more than the number of event ticket holders, and the cost of the passes alone is a negative incentive in getting one. We can think of it as a toll.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by pink » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:07 am

I think everyone is overthinking this. Lots of vehicles, like RVs & busses, have way more than 2 people riding in. Do you really think a couple buying two tickets, riding in together, will buy two vehicle passes 'just in case'?

Get a grip people. The JRS said there is an average of 1.9 people per vehicle. So 35k passes for 68k tickets sold is about right.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:29 am

People are already spending $1000s for tickets and shelter and water, do you think $40 per vehicle is going to reduce the number of vehicles?? Fools.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Elliot » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:39 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:People are already spending $1000s for tickets and shelter and water, do you think $40 per vehicle is going to reduce the number of vehicles?? Fools.
Not the $40, but the maximum of 35,000 passes.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:42 am

Shit Elliot, I figured everyone in our neighborhood would all link up behind Millicent and you can tow us all in as one vehicle! 8)
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:51 am

just print up yer own damn pass, by gummity.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by forty_eight » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:46 pm

This strikes me as odd:
There is a maximum of 2 tickets and 2 Vehicle Passes per person.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:07 pm

@danibel - I should imagine that the low income applicants will be given information regarding vehicle passes when they hear back on their applications. Dates and additional details of that program are to be announced.

@motskyroonmatick - your 'more MOOP' argument doesn't make any sense, seeing as the trash you're hauling back out with you is stuff that came into the event with you in the same vehicles. As for having to leave your infrastructure at home because you didn't get a pass, that's either just being silly or implying you're an idiot when it comes to planning for your camp and being resourceful to get your hands on a pass... neither of which is true.

@C187 - I could almost buy that argument, if the Burner Express bus didn't exist. For those flying in, that's a cheap and easy way to do it, and the shopping bus option would allow for them to pick up anything they couldn't bring along with them. And yes, the limit is 1 pass per ticket purchased.

@ranger magnum - because just raising the ticket price doesn't do anything to get arms around planning or controlling the vehicle numbers. Traffic has been a major issue in population caps/growth, gate lines, exodus lines, and road repair issues, it makes a lot of sense to take some steps there.

@maryanimal - I don't see vehicle passes as suddenly causing everybody to come in their own vehicle, do you? The average is 1.9... 35K passes should be enough to cover that. Disabled burners would be able to buy a pass for their vehicle as well. There are no additional fees required, though you would still need to apply for a disability license.

@BBadger - I agree, I would have liked to see there be no limit. The $40 surcharge feels like enough incentive to me, perhaps there was some pressure from BLM or the state of Nevada to put a cap on that.

@pink - I agree. If you've got an idea on your travel plans, there's no need to buy extra. Even if you don't, there's no need to go nuts - at worst, a couple people rent a car and pack in all their stuff. 2 tickets, 1 pass needed.

@Simon - omg that pic is awesome

@48_love - it shouldn't. In the directed group sale and individual sale, there's a limit of 2 tickets per person. And one vehicle pass per ticket sold (1:1 ratio), for a maximum of 2 tickets and 2 vehicle passes per person. The presale has a limit of 4.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:39 pm

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by forty_eight » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:45 pm

It seemed odd because they allow a 1:1 ratio for tickets to parking passes, but there isn't a 1:1 ratio of available tickets to available parking passes.

If the notion of parking pass scarcity crops up, it could drive speculation and hording.

Just speculating, lol.

The blog mentions "initial allotment of 35K", so, they may have the ability to issue more if Parkinpocalypse becomes a possibility!

And, maybe STEP will have a release valve for "redundant" parking passes.

Any idea to manage traffic is worth a try, I say ... let's see how it goes!

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Elliot » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:36 pm

.
Time for Elliot’s Annual Statement of Traffic Solution!
Begin the event several days earlier, to spread arrivals out. And move the main burns to 2 or 3 days earlier, to spread departures out (on the basis that many need to be back in the salt mine the morning after Labor Day). End of traffic congestion.
Yes, tickets would cost quite a bit more, and I think it would be worth it.

As for road maintenance, seems to me… all motor vehicles already pay for their share of road maintenance thru Registration Fees, Fuel Taxes, and Commercial Road Use Taxes. I could drive Millicent to Las Vegas and spend a week in an RV Resort there, or I could drive her to Black Rock City and spend a week there – same amount of pavement-wear per mile.
But I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

Carry on. :D

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:47 pm

FYI folks, I'm hearing some conflicting information as to whether vehicle passes will be sold 1 to 1 with tickets purchased, or whether you can buy more passes than tickets (up to 4 in the presale, up to 2 in the directed and individual sales).

If you can buy more passes than tickets that would be a really bad idea IMO, as that only encourages people to hoard. Once I can get confirmation, I'll pass it along.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by BBadger » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:52 pm

I've doing some thinking about these vehicle passes. If you look at the implementation, using vehicle passes seem rather strange, especially given the price and the need for a separate pass program. It would have been much simpler and more predictable for BMOrg to have just increased the tickets by $10 a pop to cover the highway costs or anything else. The $40 cost is also too low to be a serious disincentive for just getting one if your trip really depended on it. Finally, there are already strong incentives for sharing rides, such as reduced gas, less wait time in line, friends, etc.

So why a vehicle pass system?

I think a big motivation behind it is to prevent last-minute buyers from just hopping into their car and going to the event. I speculate that those people comprise a large segment of the single-car-per-person attendees, which create a lot of congestion. The people who have planned ahead will already have their passes/rides in order, and last-minute buyers using ride-shares will not increase the number of cars.

If you look at it that way, it explains the low cost of the vehicle pass. The cost of the vehicle pass only has to be enough that people won't buy one "just in case" if they feel they can plan ahead and set up their ride. This ensures that not all tickets have a guaranteed passes associated with them, and those that do will be more difficult to transfer if someone else is depending on that vehicle pass. The more important feature is that it creates an additional layer for getting into the event, disrupting the effects of last-minute ticket buying by forcing people to coordinate and not just own a ticket. This may reduce the number of cars, and make the congestion a little more predictable.

Contrary to my questioning why they didn't just allow unlimited tickets, the real key behind these vehicle passes is to promote scarcity -- at least nearing time of the event -- but not for the people who can plan ahead. I also think that while the vehicle passes may run out, they won't be hoarded, as there is really no incentive to do so especially if there is a simple program to redistribute them. As people consolidate their rides and don't need the passes, the passes can go into the market and repurchased at cost. The redistribution can take place all the way up until August, but by the time the event actually begins, it'll be difficult to source one in a timely manner, stymieing the last-minute buyers.

So in the end, the vehicle passes may actually have a good effect on this event for the majority of plan-ahead burners. We'll see though.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by danibel » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:52 pm

maryanimal wrote:What's an OCF?
Oregon Country Fair. In terms of scale, the OCF is similar in size to BM, but it's been around for a lot longer. It's a very different event (commerce and vibe), but it has some similarities in terms of community. OCF is way more hippy dippy ;D
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:58 pm

anything i can do to help.
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