We’re pleased to say that the Vehicle Pass initiative was incredibly successful for the first year of operation in 2016. Over 95% of people purchased their pass online and the streamlining of processes at the front gate lead to a vastly improved experience for patrons with the average wait time around 25 minutes. More importantly however it enabled us to significantly reduce the number of cars onsite through carpooling and we saw incredible increases in the use of the charter bus and public transport options.
Purchased online along with your ticket or later for $25 per vehicle ($5 refundable through the bag deposit scheme) the vehicle pass will also include one complimentary souvenir booklet per car and will contribute to important community, environmental and road safety initiatives. Photo ID IS NOT required when presenting your vehicle pass at the festival gate.
This initiative will have minimum impact on the majority of people who already travel with two or three people in their vehicle while encouraging others to catch public transport. We also hope our patrons understand how important it is to provide whatever services are necessary to minimise the risk of impaired drivers on our roads.
We are committed to making it easier and cheaper to travel to the festival without a car. Perhaps you are a backpacker or you need to travel at a different time to the rest of your campsite, maybe the cars are all full in your group, or you want to break free from your car and let someone else do the driving.
There will be free regular shuttles meeting trains and buses in Beaufort and Ballarat. We are increasing the number of coaches running between Melbourne and the festival and subsidising the cost to make it a more attractive option. Stay tuned for more details!
In the past we have worked with Treecreds to purchase carbon offset credits. We were discerning in selecting the best projects available such as avoided deforestation in Tasmania and other highly regarded projects. We are still working with Treecreds, but we have decided to allocate funds from the vehicle pass towards other more local projects. These are more costly, but we believe much more valuable. The two main projects we are working on are the onsite revegetation program and a local Landcare program.
Over 5000 trees were planted recently onsite and this is part of a much larger project which will see over 50,000 trees planted in the next few years. This not only enables carbon sequestration, but provides valuable habits and ecological restorations, not to mention shade from the sun and wind protection.
In additional, we have partnered with the local Lexton Landcare group to help fund a number of regional planting projects. Using local volunteers for much of the work is a very cost effective way to undertake native tree planting, so many more trees are planted for every dollar donated.