Getting Busy on the Bus to the Dust

brcdoaThe Department of Mobility is now DOA. Yes, that’s right – if you’re in a wheelchair, or otherwise mobility impaired, you have a new home. The Dimension of Accessibility. Rat Lady has stepped up to take over from Wayne. If anyone out there has access to a wheelchair-and-Playa-friendly shower, your assistance would be appreciated:

We introduce to you BRC D.O.A ! Located at Center Camp and 7 o’clock as the Department of Mobility has been for a number of burns. Come and visit! We will have art tours 4x per day, at5:45am , 9:00am, 6pm and 9pm. Look for us in the guide, where you may see us listed as either BRC D.O.A or The Department of Mobility, due to the sudden change. We are grateful to Wayne for his hard work and selfless dedication over the years in leading the camp, we wish him the best and send him well wishes for a solid recovery !

Space is always given with preference to the Mobility Impaired. We offer a public charging station for electric equipment belonging to the disabled, including c-pap’s, Electric Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters and other Medical equipment. We will offer the Short Bus, a Wheelchair friendly bus service through the main road of the City, Center Camp, the Man and the Temple. Designed for those with Mobility impairments, able bodied folks are welcome when we have room, but you can be bumped off at any time if a disabled burner needs your space. (No Bikes or Booze on the Bus) We provide educative support to the shortbus-46967disabled and their supportive friends and family via our website and email  prior to the burn, as well as information to Burners who wish to make their Art Cars and Camps radically inclusive for the mobility impaired ! There will be an “Wheelchair friendly” workshop at our Camp, Wednesday August 28 at noon.We will not be able to accommodate those on respirators. Because of the sudden changes so late, our facilities this year will be basic, and our shower this year may not be wheelchair accessible, unless someone out there can assist ?  We will keep everything else wheelchair friendly. Your support and suggestions are welcome,  please contact us at are looking for a limited number of additional campers for our camp, who can provide value to our service for the Burner Community, If mobility and accessibility are important to you, and if you want to help our mobility impaired Burners, this is the Camp for you, camp dues will be $150, a portion of which goes toward gas for our Tour and Shuttle vehicles, and the Short Bus.

At Burners.Me, we wholeheartedly support BMOrg’s efforts to make “radical inclusion” extend to people with disabilities, handicaps, injuries, or other mobility challenges. bj wheelchairHowever, we absolutely do not support making fun of the handicapped. In a rare moment of agreement, both Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary define “Short Bus” as a derogatory term. We would encourage Rat Lady to come up with a better name for their “friendly bus service”. We hope that this gesture is genuine, despite this year’s reduced facilities, and not just a compliance requirement for BMOrg’s permit.

Speaking of friendly bus services, BMOrg have also announced Burner Express, a bus service to Black Rock City. I would imagine this would be a fun ride to go on, start the party early. Not sure how many bikes and tents you’ll be able to bring with you – by the sound of it, you will have to find someone else to bring your stuff. The good news is, if you pay them more money the bus will stop at grocery stores (just don’t buy anything that requires refrigeration); and bus campers get VIP access to Will Call and the road in, and special prime position camping.

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. 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, August 24 and return trips begin Friday, August 30.

Not this one either. (Photo by Scott Kentros, 2010)

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 sectionon the 6 o’clock access road or taking shuttles out to 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock along G Street.

This sounds like a good idea for the environment, and for Burner safety – well done BMOrg! We encourage them to put a decent DJ on the bus, or at least download some of the 2012 Burning Man music to their USB stick.

6 comments on “Getting Busy on the Bus to the Dust

  1. Pingback: Burners Need Our Help! | Burners.Me Burning Man commentary blog

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  3. Hello ! I am the sidekick to Rat Lady, who is the lead for DOA., a new name for an old camp – which has never been an official service of Burning Man, but rather the selfless work of Burners interested in RADICAL INCLUSION.

    I don’t wish to stir up more DUST or put fuel on the FIRE

    and I write this FYI. The woman who owns the bus is disabled, she named it. She loves it. We respect it and are happy to go along for the ride. Many of our campers are disabled, alternatively abled, or able bodied, and they have also embraced the term. We hope that this context rides with us and our guests – and that the term is embraced and respected as shameless self expression. After all, this is our Burning Man as as well as yours. I hope this makes sense ?

    To answer your question, we provide our services with space permitting – on a ‘worst come first served basis’. The walking wounded are always given consideration and hugs, though space is reserved for the permanently disabled. You might want to bring a wheelbarrow for your friend, so you can bring him or her over to us in Center Camp at 7 o’clock and see if we have room after we seat everyone who is permanently disabled….chances are good your friend will be able to ride ! All are welcome to visit, we will be having a workshop on Weds August 28th at noon on how to make your camp/artcar more accessible. If you know any burners disabled or able bodied or otherwise that are looking to help/camp with us, please visit us

    Thanks for blogging about us ! We hope that you see us as a valuable service, even if we speak a different language…..!

    • no worries, maybe it is a cultural difference, others get very offended by my use of the word “cunt” which in my country (see I did it again) is a normal word and even term of endearment.
      Maybe you could remix it and call it the “2Short Bus”.

  4. The term “Short bus” has been reclaimed by the disabled community, and is a language signal for our identity group. Thanks for your concern though!

    • thanks for your reply Altaira. Are you trying to say that this DOA service is only for people who identify themselves as the “disabled community”, or does it include anyone with some sort of mobility impairment? For example, I have a friend on crutches with an ankle injury, he is not permanently disabled. I would think he would be a candidate to use this service at Burning Man, but I don’t think he would be in your “identity group”. In fact I’m pretty sure it would offend him, even if all the people in wheelchairs or intellectually handicapped thought Short Bus jokes were fine and dandy now that we’re in 2013.
      I’ve just searched Google looking for evidence of the new community acceptance of the phrase as you’re suggesting, and can’t find anything – if you have any links to back this up please post them, and perhaps update the Wikipedia page while you’re at it. Here’s “Disability Scoop” from just 2 months ago talking about the outrage caused by the term:

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