The "ToFlame" bus from Reno to BRC and back was overall a positive experience.
The biggest plus is not driving. And getting wound up with my fellow Burners on the way there. And the way we used the 12-mile entrance when leaving, bypassing exodus and arriving in Reno just 3 or 4 hours after we left. And leaving with a rested, sober driver. All in air-conditioned comfort (with a bathroom).
Having only e-mail to contact was unnerving, and no way to contact the Reno/BRC trip site or drivers directly was too. I asked if I could leave from SaveMart instead of the airport (a stop along the way) and got approval, but the driver was surprised I was boarding there. The trip from the airport to BRC was slow to start — the stop at SaveMart turned into an all-out cat herding session to get everyone back on the bus and ready to go. The bus left the airport a little after 2 but it wasn't until about 4:30 or 5 before we left SaveMart. We disembarked on the Playa around 11 p.m.
On the return trip, the "bus stop" moved to 6:00 and K (originally 6:00 and Rod's Road) — thankfully Playa Info actually had the info on this. Apparently the drivers weren't keen on navigating a city full of ferrets-on-crack in the middle of the night in a full-size luxury coach. Who knew?
At $70 each way, it's about what I would have pitched in for gas anyway. Because I had 3x as much luggage as was included in one seat, they said to buy two seats. The $280 round-trip was a fair bit more expensive than I'd have liked.
I think many kinks will be ironed out next year, and I have one year's experience with it, so if they do it again, it will be a sane way to get to-and-from Burning Man.
Fuck you, I love you,