Maintenance Tasks

Buspatch is an intentional community of vehicle dwellers, operating as off-grid alternative housing. Members are expected to perform a minimum of 5 maintenance tasks per week to remain in good standing.

Tasks fall into four categories:


 Tasks that require driving are marked with this icon:
 (If you are licensed to drive in California, please prioritize these tasks)

Some tasks are easier than others. The more proactive you are about getting to tasks early in the week, the more easy ones are available. 

If you are unavailable to complete 5 tasks, you can do an advanced buy-out option at $10/task. The money will go toward buying supplies needed to complete these tasks. 
This is not meant to be a penalty for not completing your tasks, but an option if you know you will be too busy. The penalty for not completing your tasks (or the buyout) before the week's end is that you will lose the privilege of remaining at Buspatch. This is because Buspatch can only work if all our members contribute.

Task Protocols

1.1 Fetch Gasoline

Estimated time: 30 minutes.
Our backup generator runs on gasoline. We have two gasoline cans which can be filled up at any gas station.
  • Bring one of the communal utility vehicles, fill it up too!
  • Save your receipt. Add your expense to the Buspatch group in Splitwise. Attribute the responsibility 100% to the 'Buspatch Entity'.
  • Full & empty cans live next to the generator.

1.2 Fetch Propane

Estimated time: 30 minutes.
Propane fuels our hot water heater and our indoor & outdoor cooking appliances. Full tanks live in the flammables cage. Empty tanks live on shelves near the front of the lot. 3 empties is worth a trip to refill/swap. If we get down to 0 full tanks this becomes high priority.
  • Propane exchanges (should cost $25-30):
    • Arco AM/PM, Grand and Market St, Oakland
  • Propane refills (only for tanks in good condition!) (should cost $15-20):
    • UHaul Oakland?

1.3 Clean Solar

Estimated time: 30 minutes.
`Climb atop the 3 busses with solar panels and clean them off. It's dusty AF 'round here.
  • We have one ladder tall enough for this job. When you're done don't leave it blocking a pathway.
  • Cleaning solar panels is like cleaning mirrors. Use: windex, paper towels/newspaper, etc.
  • Wipe panels until the towel comes off clear, otherwise you're just smudging dirt around.
  • Throw windex paper towels in GARBAGE (not compost)
  • Return cleaning supplies to utility bus.
Estimated time: 45 minutes, but mostly just sitting around waiting.
  1. Fill two 55gal drums with water, or otherwise acquire ~100gal of fresh water
    Best location and security codes for retrieving water from a neighbor are on Slack in #bp_safety
  2. Park a full barrel near the bathroom water pump.
  3. Put the hose from the IBC into the barrel.
  4. Put the green hose from the faucet into the IBC.
  5. Open the faucet.
  6. Turn on the pump.
  7. Wait approx 15 minutes, repeat 2-3 with the other barrel.
  8. Turn off pump.
  9. Turn off faucet.
  10. Put the IBC hose back in the IBC.

3.1 Curb Garbage

Estimated time: 15 minutes.
Thursday nights the garbage, green bin and compost bins go to the curb.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Dump the common area garbages, and change their bags. Take the big bins to the curb.
  • Re-sort anything that's wrongly placed in the bins. There are signs explaining every nuance posted above the trash bins in the common area. Especially: separate recycling that can be returned for a refund from regular recycling.
  • Don't compress the trash too much or it won't fall out when they dump the bin, and then we'll be stuck with a full bin for another week.
  • Make sure the lid mostly closes or they won't take it.
  • In an emergency, cardboard can be securely bundled and placed beside the recycling bin, and we'll be charged extra for them to take it.
  • Batteries can be recycling by placing them in a ziploc bag atop the garbage bin.

3.2 Fetch Bins

Estimated time: <1 minute.
First person to get to this on Friday morning wins this super easy task. Bring the bins back inside. That's it, you're done, you win.

3.3 Wash Dishes

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes (depending on how long it's been).
Dishes should get washed as often as possible. If you see dirty dishes, it's an opportunity to wash dishes.
  • Check the grey water container below the utility sink. If it's more than half full, empty it into the driveway drain.
  • Washing dishes:
    1. scrape food off into compost (use a paper towel, also compostible) and use the sink/a sponge to get any other visible food gunk/sauces off the dish
    2. scrub dish in the dirty water bin unless it's already clean-looking
    3. scrub dish in the soapy water bin
    4. rinse bin
    5. sanitizer soak. soak for 1 minutes to sterilize the dish! (sanitizer solution ratio should be labeled on/near the sanitizer)
  • clean a bussing bin and fill with clean dishes after they'v been soaked
  • When you're done, close the lids of all the bins
  • Bring the clean dishes inside immediately (so dirt does not settle on them)
Estimated time: 5-10 minutes.
Assuming we had a place to put away clean dishes, after the dishes have been cleaned, put them away.

3.5 Clean Kitchen

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
This job gets easier the more often it's done. It's the sort of job that can almost never be done too often.
  • Don't forget to throw away any rotting food.
  • Wipe down all surfaces.
  • Organize some stuff... use logic.

3.6 Clean Fridge

Estimated time: 15 minutes.
Before new groceries get added to the fridge, empty the fridge of old food. Throw away stuff that went bad. Clean the sides and bottom. Put good food back.

3.7 Clean Living Room

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
Let's try to make it nice. This job gets easier the more often it's done. There should not be lots of clutter around that turns into trash blowing on the ground.

3.8 Clean Bathroom

Estimated time: 30 minutes.
This job gets easier the more often it's done. It's the sort of job that can almost never be done too often.
  • Wear gloves
  • Bleach/clorox-wipe all the surfaces
  • Organize loose odds and ends
  • Bleach-rags go in the garbage

3.9 Clean Lot

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
Go around the lot looking for stuff that doesn't belong where it is, then put it where it belongs. We should do this soon. If you are strong and good at lifting things, coordinate with Victoria who knows where to put things.

3.10 Shelve Tools

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
You're supposed to put your tools away as soon as you use them. Not everyone does that and we will be angry at them. This job is to organize & put away tools that aren't organized.

3.11 Weed Weeds

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
If there are weeds big enough for snakes or mice to hide in, remove them.

3.12 Pest Management

Estimated time: forever.
Buspatch is actually an ant colony and we are guests in their home. If they show up, deal with them with terro first, spray poison much later. Mouse traps are also available.

3.13 Return Refundables

Estimated time: 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Gather up all the refundable glass & plastics, most of which will be in the dark green can up front. Find a place to return them for a refund. Keep half the money!

4.1 Fetch Groceries 

Estimated time: 60-90 minutes.
Buy things people can make communal meals from. Tell people you're going shopping in advance and ask if they'd like to come, or give you list of their request. Shuttle all interested parties to the store. Split the expenses in Splitwise. Get someone to clean the fridge while you're shopping so there's room for the new groceries. Take one of our utility vehicles, top it off with gas, leave it cleaner than you found it.

4.2 Cook Meal 

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes.
Make a meal everyone can enjoy. Invite people to eat with you. Yay, community!

4.3 Wash Laundry 

Estimated time: 2-4 hours.
Tell everyone you're going on a laundry run. Invite people to go with you or to give you their laundry bags/instructions. Give enough advance notice that people have time to assemble their laundry. See if there's anything random/forgotten/dropped around the lot that needs washing, too. Don't forget to bring detergent (we have unscented detergent in the utility bus). Shuttle involved parties to the laundromat. Split the expenses in Splitwise.

4.4 Audit and Inventory

  1. record power usage [details TBD]
  2. record water level
  3. check for missing essential groceries
  4. check bus battery levels