Spotlight on …. Transportation
The transportation department is one of the small groups of people the attendees hardly ever get to see. These are the folks that arrange for and manage all the golf carts and buses for the event.
They make sure the bus routes are set such that everyone who needs a ride from one part of the event to the other is accommodated. Those buses are routed on streets that are available to the most number of people and yet are passable enough to get a bus through. Can you imagine trying to get a bus down some of the small streets and paths in the Swamp regularly? They also try to coordinate with the drivers when the buses sometimes get bunched up, a thing which happens a lot. (You know, when the first bus stops for 5 minutes to pick up a bunch of folks, and then the next one breezes by because there isn't anyone waiting. Next thing you know we have two buses bumper to bumper and people are waiting for 15 minutes between these clumps of vehicles.)
I know a lot of us would rather go back to the days of the open hay wagon pulled by the tractor (I know I preferred watching those go by, though I've personally never taken a bus or the old hay wagon myself). Unfortunately, The hay wagon is no longer an option the Coopers are willing or able to support. We continue to look for other options but so far nothing has turned out to either be affordable or viable so for now we stick with the buses.
Transportation also manages all the golf carts the event uses on site. (I know … golf carts … sore subject). It’s funny; I get two kinds of comments from people. Either they want everyone to have a golf cart, or they think the carts should be banned all together.
We do try to minimize carts every year, but they are a necessary evil for staff based on the sheer size of the event plus the limited number of volunteers supporting the event. Let’s face it, when Performing Arts is putting on a play and the lights go out we do like the tech services folks to be able to get them back on in 10 minutes and not an hour later. And, when you have some issue that’s important to you and need to talk to a Watch Commander you’d hate to have to wait an hour or more for them to show up, especially if the subject involves someone’s safety. The list goes on. We do a lot of things to make Pennsic work better every year and that means carting a lot of materials and staff around to keep things moving.
The Transportation folks have also been known to help out on an occasion when someone brings them a tire that might be a little low on air.
Love it or hate it, it’s one of the things we depend upon to keep the event running.