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Averill park, New York, United States
This is a blog that hopes to help with the confusion of bus riding in Vegas. Comments are encouraged. Spam is not encouraged. Comments that include websites will not be published. Allow time for moderation of all comments.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Future of the buses

This article is very informative.  It overviews the vision of the bus improvements in Vegas as well as the connection between stimulus money and the project.  Too often the benefits of stimulus money have not been communicated to the public.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Permission to copy parts of this blog

If you  would like to cut and paste anything from this blog, just drop me a note and ask.  You can do it by adding a comment.  I'm easy, so don't hesitate.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

This blog is dedicated to bus issues.  For full Vegas trip reports see:

navigational note:   I know this blog format is hard to navigate because it must be organized by date rather than topic.  Ignore posting dates like the one in orange above;  they are not accurate but used only for organization
Information on particular routes is collected in February 2010 posts.  Each post is titled by the bus route.  So if you want to know what I know about the 201, go to the Archives for February 2010 and find the post with that route in the title.  Otherwise skim reading is the way to read.

Hi and welcome: 
I am overjoyed to collect your bus stories, especially now that the routes have changed:
Where did you catch the bus?  Where did you get dropped? Why did you go?  What interesting destinations might some other bus rider learn about from you? What shopping did you access?  What restaurants?  What did you think of your experience?  Do you have an itinerary with many possibilities on a route you have ridden?  Where did you feel safe?  Where unsafe?  
Important:  If you send me your story, please add written clear permission to cut and paste it into this blog if you agree to offer that permission. I will also edit for grammar and spelling if you request it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

we are not confused alone

I am in Vegas just now and happy to have put off trying to determine how the buses work.
I have asked this question of bus drivers and other folks, but I have not gone to the new BTC yet and asked or tried to call.
Here is my question:

So as a senior I can buy a 24 hour pass on the 202 for $2.
There is no upcharge.
Will the Deuce accept this pass?

No one seems to know.

At the end of my trip I'll be downtown with a 24 hour pass and I'll just take a Deuce ride to find out.
However, I don't want to spend a trip I planned particulary to not depend on buses during the transition asking questions and finding out information which in a month will most certainly change.
One board poster here thought the BTC had too much work to be done yet to be ready.

I do know that there is a continued erosion of the buses on Flamingo so that soon they will not go as far and will not go as often, coming at the times I need them most only every hour.  I think I will satisfy this issue on my trip next May by printing a 202 schedule of just the times that bus will be at Las Vegas Boulevard and another when it will be at Super 8.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bonneville Terminal is finished

October 25 is the opening of the terminal
November 7 is when the buses run from there on new schedules.

The news in route changes is not all good news.  Coming and going from the strip to downtown in the early morning will not be possible on the ACE  alias  GOLD LINE  alias strip and Downtown express (SDX) but only on the Deuce from 12:30 am to 9 am.

Here are my current concerns;  however, we really need to wait a bit until the dust settles.  The last schedule changes were rechanged after about a month.

*** Staying downtown I may have to take a bus to take a bus because the BTC is an unsafe walk. I'll lose the flexibility of many routes easily reached.
*** The pullback on the SDX bus trips will mean I am crowded again on the Deuce when I am heading back to my hotel, perhaps a bit drunk, certainly tired, in the early morning hours.
*** The reduction of runs by the 202 Flamingo in early morning hours will mean I stop counting Terribles and Tuscany as possible places to stay, let alone the Eastside Cannery where early morning buses will no longer go. 
Even early morning returns from Gold Coast/Palms to Ellis/Super 8 Koval will be much less convenient when Flamingo buses run every hour.
Tropicana 201 maintains 20 minute runs. I am sorry Flamingo did not get the same consideration.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegas driving evaluated by those who do it often

One of the reasons to use the bus in Vegas is that even if you are rested, sober, well oriented, safe, and defensive...........  there are many others who are not.
For peace of mind whenever you can, try other transportation.
Why gamble with your health/life?

Monday, August 30, 2010

No No not the ACE or Goldline; now it is SDX

edited on October 23, 2010

Strip Downtown Express
This bus will pick up at the same stop as the Deuce.  So don't be waitin' at Neonopolis and expect the ACE because it won't be comin', not even if you call it the Goldline.

However, it will not run certain hours of the early morning 12:30 am to 9 am.  Then the only way to go downtown to strip is on the Deuce.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

5 Day Pass reported alive and well

The woman I talked to at RTC said it was a "glitz that they don't really advertise" but anyone with a five day pass could ride the Gold Line and the Deuce without a local ID being checked.
This was further confirmed in an email response to a poster at the end of the above link.  All buses can be ridden with the 5 day pass.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

tnvegas gives a Mixed Review of the ACE experience

tnVegas from Blonde's Board experienced his first Vegas bus recently (August 2010) and wrote this review:

They have changed the price of the 3 day bus pass to $20 which doesn't represent much of a savings, and we only needed it for two days, so we choose a daily pass for $7 each day.
The first day we caught the Deuce downtown bus stopped at a few places before we got town town - very good trip.
On the way back we caught the ACE back - avoiding most of the stops, but it was a very crowded bus and we never got a seat. Also, it was weird that there was no place to swipe our bus pass on this bus. There was a guard who looked for our pass, but it seemed like we could have used a week old pass since we just had to show him we had a pass in our hands. Later that night we took the deuce North and that was a nightmare - very slow and very crowded.
Day two on the bus we opted for the ACE bus again - first trip downtown was ok, but on the way back it was crowded again. We stopped at the back of the Sahara and went there for a bit.
On the way back we thought we would take the ACE bus again,  but we had to wait forever to catch it, and then the first bus was packed and we could not get on. The 2nd bus was crowded too, but at least we got on. However, we had to stand.
We were going to the Luxor. The stop for the Luxor was somewhat far from the Luxor entrance, but I guess we should not be too picky. It also took forever to travel on the strip due to traffic.  We wanted to go from the restaurant off of Tropicana but bascially gave up since we had to be back at the Luxor for a show and felt we didn't have enough time to do that and still make the bus.
So we felt the bus is a cheap alternative - you just can't be in a hurry to go anywhere since you never knew how long any single trip would take on the strip. I do think any route off strip would have been a lot better. We ended up not taking any of those.
We longed for a monorail system that actually was more convenient to use and would allow us to avoid the traffic on Las Vegas Blvd - like just above the Blvd,  not a couple blocks behind it. We are going to NY next month and know the subway system there is a lot better system than this.



NEW TRANSIT CENTER (coming sometime this Fall)

What will all that mean?

No more easy walks to the DTC.

The new transit center is to be located on Casino Center and Bonneville:
To get a sense of what it will look like, click on the link below
and scroll down to the Bonneville Transit Center.
That is the replacement for the DTC.


For other routes at the new Bonneville Station folks can catch the ACE from downtown and transfer at the station to other buses.  Coming into the station late at night from the lesser used bus routes, folks can make one transfer to get to downtown casinos.
However, this will increase the costs because the ACE /DEUCE  requires either a all access pass or an upcharge.
As the routes develop, we'll have to see if there is a way to access the new Bonneville DTC from downtown on a reduced fare general market pass rather than the more expensive all access pass.  This means a $5 savings a day for seniors who will do all their traveling that day on non strip routes because in the new fare schedule there is no reduced fare for 24 hours of the strip routes, only for 3 days or strip routes.


Because the bus company will actually own the new Bonneville Transit Center, it has been designed with sustainability in mind.  We can expect it will serve us for many years and that it can more easily be adapted to rider needs as they emerge.

I don't have answers to all the details.  We will have to wait and see how things develop.
The Bonneville Station will be very comfortable itself and state of the art.
One thing I learned is that those with bicycles will not only be able to store them at the station, but will be able to shower before heading out to work on the ACE and will be able to arrange to service and repair bikes right there at the bus station.   
Multi-modal is the word of the day.

updated June 2010

Fares and the use of vending machines is explained in various links at this site:


There are two 24 hour passes. One is the All Access pass. One is the General Market   pass. The General Market is cheaper, meant for people who are not going to ride the Deuce or ACE.
the General Market 24 hour pass is especially cheaper for ID carrying seniors.  $2 versus $7 per day when a senior chooses an all access pass.  Hopefully, soon there will be a 24 hour reduced fare for seniors  purchasing the All Access 24 hour pass.  Presently the 3 day senior option is the best bargain.


For the ACE you will have to buy tickets ahead.  No ACE drivers will sell tickets, and the RCT is hoping folks will buy Deuce tickets as well from the vending machines. Upcharge fees also need to be bought from the vending machines.

Locations listed on the RCT website:

Ticket vending machines sell and validate full-fare, reduced-fare, one-day and one-ride passes and soon will both sell and validate 3 day passes as well.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Car rental stories- a reason to ride the bus

Reported from one user is that Dollar in Denver attempted to collect $1500 in damages a few weeks after the rental was returned.  Dollar abandoned this claim when the insurance company became involved.

Why the bus and not a car rental


Certainly there are people who are bus people and those who are not, but in the next two years the buses are going to change dramatically in Vegas and folks will give them a second look.
Rental cars seem cheap until you take a look at some of the loopholes in insurance (BELOW) or add in what you lose in not drinking free booze.  I figure the value of  my Myer's Rum comes to as much as forty dollars a day.
Being overtired and meeting other out of town overtired, drunk, or crazy kid drivers at three AM just spoils my relaxation.  Half the time I sleep on the way back to my bed.
The other half I have some cool conversation with some stranger and hear the greatest stories.  I think of a bus like this blog only with four wheels and the folks are live.
I am solo so the conversations break up the day.  I so much prefer it to a lonely cab ride home where I have to stay awake to see the driver is not taking me for a ride and since I am solo and a senior, the bus ride for three days is priced at two cab tips.
And even if resolving an accident on a rental goes smoothly there is hassle and anxiety that depletes the joy of Vegas.

I was leaning in the direction of renting a car for my next trip.  But after hours of researching how insurance works and doesn't, I am not very comfortable renting without the full waivers and that puts the price up pretty high.

Before you dismiss these issues, be sure you read a bit and talk to more than one insurance agent.  My State Farm agent did a 360 degree turn around after telling me for years that I was covered.

And using the Visa may not do it either.

Here is what happens.

You get in an accident.  Your insurance covers you minus your deductable up to the amount you carry on the car you drive at home.  So I drive a 99 Saturn.  Odds are I would still have quite a bit to pay if I totaled a brand new rental expecially after one of those free upgrades that come along.


You get in an accident.  Your insurance does not cover loss of use, but the Visa does.  Read the fine print.  The Visa demands the car rental company send them a log that shows that while the car was out of service, they did not have other rentals.  Guess what?  The Rental Car company just ain't gonna send no log  So who is responsible for the loss of use fees?  Well,    You are.


You have an accident and the car is damaged.  The insurance company decides not to fix it but just to sell it off as salvage.  You are stuck with the difference in the full value of the car and what they get.  Does the insurance company cover that cost?  Probably not.  Ask your agent if you are covered for "loss of value"
So a $35,000 crashed vehicle sold off at $7,000 leaves a lot for you to pay.  And the rental company is conservative about what they will fix and put back out there because if a rental has a damage history, it leaves them open for lawsuits in a future accident.  They like to get rid of the cars and start over.  Especially since someone else pays.

And even if things go smoothly, you are responsible for the damage until you get your insurance company to pay for it.  Any accident may raise your premiums so you pay for it over time for the rest of your life.  And you better not have a drink.  Drinking, speeding, reckless behavior, having your car impounded by police all void insurance policies as does letting someone else drive for a while who not on the rental contract.  I have a family fight every time we rent a car about that one.  it is so easy to get tired and just let the kid drive for a while.

Basically, I am back to deciding that car rental is sort of like playing video poker.  The Royal never comes and never comes and never comes..............and then when you least expect it........there it is.  Only the Royal is a good thing.  The casino pays off.  The accident is a not good.  You pay off.

From what I gather from my son who as a financial adviser and talks to insurance agents every day, the entire issue is being debated around the agents' coffee meets.  My own State Farm Agent is doing some research.  Perhaps she will come up with some definitive angle.  My son recommends getting the waiver.

I also found this site that sells a cheaper policy than the car rental places offer.
This one at $9 a day is nice but not for me as I am a NY resident

Travel guard offers the same type of coverage and seems to have pretty good press.


I also found out that Visa does an easier job of negotiating with the car companies than Mastercard.  And American Express may have everything covered.

But all insurance leaves you responsible to have a claim approved and doing the paperwork.  What the rental car places give you is not insurance but a waiver of their right to recover money in case of accident, theft, damage.   That is why they can ask such a huge fee for the waiver.  It is not covered by insurance regulation, so they can ask whatever the market will bear.

And the hassle works against the pleasure of a Vegas trip.  Here is the kind of work and worry just a damaged mirror can entail.

I know this adds anxiety to those of you who rent every time you go to Vegas and are proud of the $9 a day you manage with codes and specials.  I am one of you.  Frugal to the bone.
Just don't dismiss the issue of liability because someone once told you that you were covered even if that someone was your agent.
I asked my agent if State Farm would send me something in writing, and she just laughed.  Take the time to review the issues and make the agent focus on Nevada which has different rental laws and sketch out the loss of use and the selling off the car as salvage senarios for the agent.  Some states do not allow the company to charge loss of use, for example.

Here are some articles to read around this issue.

This seemed the most comprehensive article.  Don't neglect the comment section as that has more information.

Here is an older article, but I like the questions it raises:

Happy motoring.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fares change on August 2, 2010

it is good news for seniors buying reduced all access passes.  We will be able to ride 24 hours unlimited, including ACE and DEUCE for just $3.50.  With the 3 day pass just fifty cents less, and elimination of the 5 day pass, this will be probably the best choice for seniors.

This is the first time that locals are given an advantage over tourists.  Locals who purchase a 24 hour General Market pass will be able to ride the ACE and DEUCE for no extra money.

I guess tourists must either start with an all access pass or rebuy an ACE ticket of some sort if moving from local routes to the strip routes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Proposed fare adjustment as it affects seniors

If the new fare adjustment goes into effect with the reduced 24 hour all access for seniors, that will give seniors a reduced fare on the 24 hour all access pass.  Currently we pay full price.
That will mean the strategy of stretching two days of 24 hour passes into the needs of 3 days of travel will be possible again.  The 3 day pass over three days would save just 50, so buying as needed makes sense to me because I may or may not use the pass everyday and even with 3 days of bus travel, often two passes cover my needs if Day one starts in late afternoon.

Day one -  Buy 24 hour all access at 5 PM to go from downtown to strip or vice versa
Day two -  Use the pass before 5PM for same trip the next day.  On the return visit at 3 am in the morning of the Day three, buy the second 24 hour pass.
Day three- The second 24 hour pass will still be good to go out and come back as long as I return before 3 am on Day four.

The key is to make the poker paying time away from the hotel not reduce the value of the bus pass.  I have no chance of doing that with the 3 day pass as the time keeps ticking. Using up one pass and then having a break of hours before buying the next gives me more time for the money.

And while I would not change my plans to save $3.50, it is a good bet that more than one time out of seven two passes will meet my desired times over three days, or that I will go one day and skip the next.  So the bet on 24 hour reduced fare is the better bet with the added advantage that there is no chance of accidentally losing a three day pass on the first day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I just found out that there are no longer any people at the South Strip Transfer Terminal.  Buses still stop there on their routes, there is still free park and ride, but only security works there.  There are ticket vending machines, but if you wanted to sign up and be photographed for a senior card, or ask a live question,  you would have to go to the Downtown Transportation Center DTC which is fully staffed.

Monday, May 3, 2010

April 2010

The first thing I learned was that the Deuce route is back in operation as it was before the ACE.  I guess there was a good bit of complaint.  Also the ACE has plenty of riders so perhaps having both buses go downtown is not an issue.

It does mean the Palace Station was cut out of the route.  Too bad.  That Sahara bus takes a while to get up to the Palace Station.

I planned a trip without much reliance on buses because of all the changes, but here is what I did experience.

I liked the ACE.  I rode it on Saturday night to downtown and it was fast and easy and there were plenty of buses coming every few minutes.  The seats in the back were very comfortable and jumping on that back door a quick and easy way to grab the bus.
The machines to buy the tickets proved easy as well once I learned that the machines to buy Deuce tickets are not meant to take senior citizen passes.  I put mine in the machine and it was stuck.  I had to retrieve it the following day. 
Once I used the correct machine I had no trouble, and unlike the old machines in the DTC these are very easy to read, bright lettering.  I also like the video schedule posted right along side the ticket machine.
I was only checked for my ticket once.  I know some on the bus did not have them.  Some watched to see if the checkers were getting on the bus and exited in the rear so as to avoid them.  One local said it was not usual to be checked on a busy Saturday night.
I also overheard that most folks who have an incorrect ticket are still given one chance to go to their destination.  It is a time of learning.
I liked not always having to show a ticket, but I want to find a way to carry the ticket in an easy place so when I am checked I do not have to fish for my wallet.  I think I'll buy a small protective sleeve and keep it in my shirt pocket.
The regularity of the bus made it easy to hop on and off.  I got off at Sahara just to play a matchplay and did not have a long wait for my ride to downtown.
I enjoyed watching this vehicle turn a corner.  It has a huge circular swivel  just before the back section.
I can also see that some luggage would be fine to carry.  I carry a huge suitcase and that would be too much, but many people had shopping bags from their shopping so luggage that fit in a shopping bag would easily be transported  Light packers can use the ACE to hop from strip hotel to strip hotel.
I rode the Flamingo to Swenson and then the 108 to downtown with my luggage and had not trouble.  I stayed at Flamingo and then stayed downtown.  It was an easy journey.  I got off at the DTC.  I don't think the 108 drops near the Walgreen's anymore.  By the time I return to Vegas the new DTC will most likely be open and everything will be different again. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Great First Day Review of the ACE

Vegas Rex rode the first day of operation, March 28, 2010

Great review as is always true of Vegas Rex

You can tell what he likes and why and what he doesn't like as well.
I have decided to bring a necklace that will hold my ticket so as not to have all the shuffling about.
I noted that some of the seats face backwards.  In those cases even light luggage would be an issue as it could not fit between me and a seatback.

I'd like to see a post on which stops are safe and which are not.  I'll have to start a thread.
And perhaps I'll comment on Vegas Rex site.
He did mention that the Stratosphere busstop is really not safe.

I love it that the windows are not wrapped.  We will be able to see.
I had not really dawned on me that we  could board at multiple doors because we just need to carry our passes and show them to the conductor.
Rex worried that the conductor's passing to check tickets would be a hassle during crowded times.  I have been on the Deuce when we did not have to show our tickets but just get on.  I can imagine that during any really crowded times they won't check the tickets.

I am also excited to hear how central the stop is for downtown.  Casino Center Blvd and Freemont gives us a fine location from which to head to the strip from downtown.

Friday, March 26, 2010

PDOG'S BUS DETAILS- words from a local

Pdog's post on this thread

gives some of the most detailed information I have read.

One correction is that the ACE upcharge $2 fee will no give a 24 hour benefit but just a two hour benefit.. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gold Line as of February 2010


January 2010 conversation with RTC

I had a nice talk with a bus representative about this change, and I feel much better about it.
She assured me that the DTC will operate until they are ready at the new station.  She estimated that it would open later this year, sometime in the Fall and there would be plenty of news about the opening.

She explained the ACE should solve the issues of people who have rooms downtown and want to access the strip.  The ACE will go right along the strip and basically supplement the Deuce travel, however it will not do every Deuce stop and will hold 112 people, so it should eliminate the overcrowding issues.   It will also be faster:
  •  There will not be as many stops as there are on the Deuce
  •   Boarding is level with the bus
  •   Fare is all prepaid and no fares are collected by the driver so boarding is speeded up
  •   For part of the route the ACE has its own dedicated lane.

1.  Will the ACE GOLD allow luggage?
The ACE will not enable folks to move large luggage but it will not restrict all luggage.  Here is the way it is determined.  First, it is at the discretion of the driver.  Second, you are limited to what will fit in your personal space (under the seat/pm your lap/ in front of you.  I come with largest suitcase I can bring on the plane, a sleep apnea machine, and a computer.  No strip hopping for me.  However, those of you who pack light may be able to think about staying in one strip casino and using the ACE to get to another.  Good news, but not the greatest.  Other routes allow lots of luggage.  My next trip will be on the 108 and the 201 and the 202 with luggage and even my big stuff is no issue.

2. Can I buy a three day senior citizen reduced fare at all the vending machines that service the ACE GOLD?
Yes, you can.  If you have your senior ID card, it has a magnetic strip on the back and the machine will read that and bring up your fares. Unlike the one day passes, these 3 day passes are not activated when purchased, but when first used on the bus, so if you take one home with you, you can use it on your next trip for the bus from the airport.  There is no machine at the airport, but they are all over town and will be up and running to support the ACE. 

3.  In the Fall will I be able to get to the Bonneville Terminal from downtown (often too sketchy to walk) on a residential bus? 
Yes.  Pick up the 108 at Las Vegas Blvd and Ogden.
When busing for only one day, it is a savings getting to the Bonneville terminal on a residential (general market) bus so as to pick up any other bus in that class (senior citizens pay just $2.00 for 24 hour pass, if they don't ride ACE or Deuce)

There are going to be some informative "fairs" this coming month.  Any readers going?  If so, would you please ask about where to buy the 3 day senior reduced fair all access pass as well as questions about accessing the new Bonneville DTC when it opens later this Fall?  Thanks.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


For so many people the Deuce has been their only Vegas bus experience, and many are so turned off by overcrowding, they are never willing to ride a Vegas bus again.  The ACE should change that experience.  In the meantime, the non strip routes are uncrowded and cheaper.

If I do take the Deuce back to downtown, it is at the end of my gambling, say 2 AM and I try to be down at the Riviera when I board to head downtown as by then, there will usually be seats. At least I will board at the Venetian where there are the delightful nighttime views of European Cathedrals, the gentle rock of the gondolas in the calm water, and soft classical music pumped out to the street.

However, I am getting older and I can't seem to stay out as late as I once could, so at times I am boarding going North at midnight.

If large crowds have gathered to board at the Venetian, I pay attention to where the bus actually stops. Usually I have found it is beyond the stop itself, so positioning myself a bit North of the Venetian stop works to put me at the head of the pack for boarding and may save me having to wait for the second bus.

If you board the Deuce to downtown and there are no seats, squeeze through the crowds and go upstairs even if those seats are full as well. Folks will be getting off and then, having already negotiated the stairway, you can get first bid on the seats that they abandon. Generally, I get a spot upfront as the view at night is quiet wonderful.

Especially in the daytime, I take what were called "general market" routes. These are less crowded because there are fewer tourists, and the fare is less, but one must have correct change:

Carry dollar bills and quarters. The buses do not give change. However, you can buy passes in vending machines with your credit card. I don't know where all of the machines are located, but I know there are some at the DTC downtown and just around the corner from where the Deuce picks up at the end of Freemont outside Neonopolis. Before the ACE starts running these machines will be located at each ACE stop along the strip.  I have been told that at these vending machines I can first insert my senior reduced fare identity card and the machine will give me the reduced are menu.

Usually I just buy 24 hour passes on the bus and the drivers sell these for correct change, giving senior discounts as well as long as you have the picture ID.

Here might be a good place to get you thinking in terms of the flexibility of 24 hour day passes. Often they can cover your bus needs for two days.
Your first day in Vegas  you head out around supper time for the strip.
You buy your 24 pass at 4PM on Day one.
It gets you home after long poker seesions at 3AM, and you sleep in the next day.

Day two you head out to the strip and board  the bus before 4PM so your first pass is good.
Again you come home at 3 AM and buy a 24 hour pass on the way home.

The third day you head out for poker whenever you want.  As long as you board to come home before 3 AM, this second pass is still good.

3 days in Vegas and you have all the transportation you need for the $14 price of two passes.  If the new proposal take effect and seniors can get a reduced 24 hour all access pass for $3.50, this system will save over the $10 new rate for a 3 day pass.

Of course, it is almost the same to buy a 3 day pass before you head out, but you lose if the second day you decide not to head to the strip.  I have trouble planning 3 days in Vegas.  I might be tired or hungry or decide on a show.  I might get into a game at the El Cortez and decide to  play for 14 hours. I might lose the pass the second day.
Knowing how to stretch the 24 hour pass into the same value when your schedule allows is more flexible.

Gerry and Les, board and the best bus riders  I know, do not want to walk to the current DTC, so they stand at that stop that drops off at Walgreen's and take the first bus they meet to the DTC station in order to select their route for the day. Because they can take any bus and end up at the DTC, it does not take long for them to catch the ride they want and they don't have to negotiate the blocks in between.  Of course, these routes too will be altered when the ACE and the new DTC are up and running.  It may well turn out that the walk to the new site does not feel safe for many of us, and then we will have to catch a bus to take the bus unless our desired route has stops in the downtown areas.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



To get a senior rate you used to have to be 62, but I see now that the age is 60. Also you used to have to wait in the mail after being photographed, but they now do all of that in ten minutes at the DTC and then hand you an identity card good for 5 years. With that card seniors basically ride the bus for half price.  The exception is that seniors do not get a discount on the All Access 24 hour pass.  However, a three day pass can be bought for $7.50.


Here is a followup from the famous Turtleman posted on : I visited the Downtown Transportation Center on Tuesday just to see about getting a Reduced Fare I.D. and found the process as fast and painless as getting a player's card. I merely had to show my driver's license, have a headshot photo taken in less than a minute, and had a 5-year ID a minute later. I only used it once during this last trip, but paying half fare for merely showing the card is really cool. Thanks a lot Dewey for pointing this out!

Being Canadian citizens, we had to show our passports .... after showing our passports, we were issued with PHOTO ID cards good for five years!
Next time we go to Vegas, we just insert the into the vending machines to purchase the seniors 3 day pass[$7.50]our best deal in Vegas.we really got our money's worth.
This from a poster on the Open Vegas board by Croftonbill

Seniors who get a Reduced fair ID and start their journey  by buying a 24 hour pass General Market pass ($2) did not see an increase in the base price.  Nor was the 3 day reduced fare pass increased.  These continue to be the best bargains for seniors.  The worst buy is the 24 hour all access pass as there is no senior discount.  It costs everyone $7.  Compare that to a three day unlimited pass for $7.50.  The catch there is they cannot be bought on line but must be bought in vending machines or at the DTC.  However, these vending machines are all over the place now
What we really need is a vending machine at the airport.
In March of 2010 when the new books are published, the upcharge fare will be increased to $2 per ride.  At this point the 3 day pass will be an even better value, especially if we seniors are going to ride the ACE lines.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bus report from "The Bucket"

Thanks again for meeting with me last week at the El Cortez - I
found our meeting to me most enjoyable and informative. Do you happen to
have the address handy for the "blonde" board you mentioned being of
interest? If you do, I'd appreciate it.

As promised, here is some text describing my experiences using the
bus during my recent trip:
Sunday: McCarran -> Sam's Town (108,202)

Perhaps the most challenging part of this run was finding the
actual bus stop at McCarran Airport. I get the feeling that it is almost
deliberately hidden. Fortunately, I already knew that I had to find
Ground Level Zero (which is accessed from the baggage claim via an
interior down-escalator (I think there is a nearby elevator as well). It
is not especially well-marked, but there is a "Ground Level Zero" sign
for it if you look around enough (it is at the end of baggage claim
where one descends from the terminal gates, off to your right if you are
descending on those escalators).

Once I got to Ground Level Zero, the challenge of finding the bus
stop was far from over. The area is pretty much a big parking lot for
big vehicles (tour buses and limousines for the most part) in assigned
spaces. I found that one has to cross the street from the terminal exit
(not so much a street as a multi-lane area for limousines) to where the
tour buses park, take a right, and walk quite a ways down to the end of
where the tour buses park. There one will find a small shelter and a
rather temporary looking pole with a small RTC 108-109 sign on it.
That's the airport bus stop. This is fairly easily identified by the
large number of airport employees lounging around waiting for the bus to

The RTC website indicates that there is a TVM (Ticket Vending
Machine) at McCarran - I didn't see it anywhere within sight of the bus
stop. It may be there somewhere, but I was glad that I had mail-ordered
my bus pass in advance and had it in hand (I was concerned that I might
need the TVM to validate it, but it could be done on the bus itself). I
was going to take either the 108 or 109, whichever arrived first. I
waited about 10 minutes before a 108 bus rolled up, so I lugged my big
suitcase up onto it (I wouldn't try to do this with much more than I had
to carry) and the driver showed me how to put my un-validated pass into
a hole in the top of the fare-taking thing on the bus to validate it.
Every trip thereafter (for the life of the pass) could then be started
just by swiping the card through the front of this device, with the
exception of the ACE, for which one does not do a card-swipe (but must
be prepared to present a valid pass if asked for it... I was never asked
to do this).

The trip from McCarran to Flamingo Rd. was uneventful. I was
worried about getting off too late, and nearly got off at Tropicana as a
result. Fortunately a fellow bus-rider told me "you want to wait two
stops", and his advice was sound. I got off the 108 just north of
Flamingo, and took the short walk back down to Flamingo, and a short
distance east to the bus stop that was right in front of a UNLV building
there. The area felt quite safe, though I do feel as if I stuck out a
bit being the only suitcase-toting tourist in the area.

About ten minutes later, the 202 came along (it was a
double-decker, the 108 was a regular bus). I climbed on board (the front
door is for boarding, the back door for departing), swiped my card thru
the machine (watching fellow passengers in front of me to see how to
orient the card so as not to appear too naive), and found a place to
stick my suitcase (and I just sat on it to keep it from flopping around)
in the wheelchair-area near the front of the bus. This also gave me a
nice vantage point to watch my stops approach.

The trip out to Boulder Highway (Sam's Town was my destination)
took longer than I expected it to. It is actually quite a distance to
the east, and the bus stopped at nearly every opportunity to pick up
and/or drop off passengers. Fortunately I wasn't in a hurry, otherwise I
probably would have been sweating the delay (as a fellow passenger was,
since he was running late to work). At one point (I think in front of
the Clark County Library) the driver announced that we were running
ahead of schedule and had to wait for five minutes. He stepped off the
bus, and we sat there for five minutes, before he came back on and we
continued on our way.

As I saw Sam's approaching thru the windshield, I wasn't sure when
I should get off the bus. There was a stop just before we got to Boulder
Highway itself (with Sam's looming large), so I got off there and walked
a short distance east on Flamingo, crossed Boulder on the crosswalk, and
walked a fair distance south on Boulder Highway's sidewalk to go in the
front entrance at Sam's. In retrospect, I think I should have stayed on
the bus until it turned onto Boulder Highway and made a loop around
Sam's (the end of the line for it). The walk would have likely been far
shorter and would not have required me to cross Boulder on foot.

Overall, the trip from McCarran to Sam's Town took me about an hour
by bus, and was far, far less expensive than it would have been by any
other mode of transportation from the airport. Maybe that's why they
make the bus stop hard to find there (to encourage limo/cab/shuttle usage).

Tuesday: Fremont Hotel -> Mandalay Bay (ACE)

Using the ACE to get from the Fremont Hotel (and by proximity from
the Fremont Street Experience in general) to Mandalay Bay was fast and
easy. The southbound ACE stop for the FSE is right between the Fremont
Hotel and Binion's (on the Binion's side) and is clean, modern, equipped
with ticket vending machines, and quite safe-feeling for just about
anyone. I waited about 5 minutes there for the ACE to arrive, and got on
to find plenty of seating available (in the morning, during the week).
The trip was uneventful and much faster than a Deuce trip would have
been, depositing me outside Mandalay Bay about 40 minutes from the time
we left the Fremont. The ACE requires riders to carry a valid transit
pass, but you don't have to beep it when you get on. Instead, conductors
are supposed to circulate thru the buses on occasion and verify that
everyone has a pass. During my ACE trip, this did not happen.

Tuesday: Mirage -> Fremont Hotel (ACE)

I used the ACE to access Fremont one night, coming up north from
Mirage. This proved to be more challenging than I expected it to be,
mostly because I didn't have a map of the ACE stops with me and made the
mistake of thinking "All I have to do is get over on the east side of
the strip and start walking north until I hit one". That was quite a
hike as it turns out that the first northbound ACE stop north of Mirage
is just past the Wynn resort. By the time I got on (it was quite late
and I was tired to begin with), I nearly fell asleep as we made our way
downtown. With minimal traffic that far north of the strip, however, the
actual bus ride was very short and dropped me quite conveniently right
at the Fremont Street Experience. I will make sure that I carry a map of
the ACE stops on the strip the next time I plan to use it. In retrospect
I should have just used the Deuce to get to an ACE stop (or all the way
downtown) since the Deuce stops are far more numerous on the Strip, and
my transit pass (as is the case with anyone's unlimited transit pass)
would have been good on the Deuce as well. I did do some
Google-searching for a list of ACE stops on the Strip using my
BlackBerry, and was unable to access that information on my mobile device.


There's my bus report - Please feel free to reprint, edit,
paraphrase, use the info above for your own writing, or do whatever you
feel like with this account of my bus travels - I hereby release it into
the public domain for any usage. I was sad to hear that your trip ended
up with you being down financially - hang in there - I've found that it
always seems to swing the other way, eventually. Fortunately my baccarat
play proved to be very profitable this trip (though of course it could
just as easily have been the opposite). I did find that using the bus
made this trip quite unique, and I will likely do it again. Thanks again
for all your great information about the bus system, and for your
company at lunch.

The Bucket"   can be reached at: 

Dewey's response:

Thanks, Bucket, I did not change a word. These anecdotal narratives in the words of the traveler are exactly what we need when planning the bus in Vegas.
Thanks for the time it took to write it and your kindness in letting me put it on the blog. And for buying dinner. 

One thing that stood out for me is this. If folks  are in a hurry, the bus can seem exasperatingly long. I always settle in and enjoy the ride itself as its own treat, so the time does not bother me.  it is a long way to the Boulder Strip.  Soon that time will be shortened when a new ACE like line is built along Boulder Highway.

While gambling when the outcome is all luck swings by itself, live poker losses like those I experienced are evidence that something is definitely wrong since over 16 days I should have been able to manage some control over the outcome.  It is very disconcerting.  I'll most likely have year to think about it while I write about buses and resort fees and bed bugs.


Route 103- laudromat/ Arizona Charlies

I have not ridden this route, but it looks like it accesses Arizona Charlie's and also would get us to this laundromat

From the Orleans this would be a fairly easy ride with buses coming every ten minutes.  About 20 minutes or so to the destinations.

106 -Texas Station/Fiesta/Sante Fe


I just read this week that one poster would not even think of these casinos while staying  downtown because they were too far to go.

The last time I used the 106, I had a one free night offer from Fiesta Rancho.  I was booked downtown, but I took just a bit of luggage and booked the free Fiesta room.  This was before resort fees so it was a free room.  That gave me time to see a great old 50's band there, do all my matchplay coupons, update my points, eat a barbecue buffet at the Texas Station and head back the next day.

I think 106 is a fine and easy route that goes out to Texas Station or Fiesta Rancho. On the way back it also has stops right downtown, so you don't have to wait for the DTC end of the road drop off.

I have used it with some light baggage just to take advantage of a free night at Fiesta Rancho leaving my main luggage in a free room somewhere else downtown.
Friends also report on going out to Sante Fe station using the 106

"We really liked the Santa Fe buffet. We went about 10:30 which made breakfast and lunch available at the breakfast price. We didn't do that every day, but we did go 4 or 5 times during our visit. It actually takes only about 35 minutes. The ride was fine, but it always had the usual assortment of characters. I believe that bus continues on beyond Santa Fe to a Walmart store."


The Vegas zoo is another destination on route 106 and not very far from Texas Station.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


There are two options from Downtown to get out to the Boulder Strip. You can catch the free shuttle to Sam's Town or the 107 that goes along the Boulder Highway. Here is a friend's comments on those two routes:

One rider reports taking the 107 many times and enjoying the double deckers.  They even went as far as Terribles in Henderson to use some coupons.

That also means that the small Joker's Wild casino is accessible by bus from downtown. There they offer craps at the lowest limits in Vegas. A bet on the pass line for 50 cents can be backed by 10X odds. They use quarter chips to make accurate pays on small 6/8 place bets. Sometimes they also have food deals. Call before you go to see if there is a game that day.

The 201 Tropicana or 202 Flamingo also intersects 107

Thursday, February 11, 2010


109 -

108 -

June 2010:  Note that the 108 no longer jogs along Las Vegas Blvd but goes out Paradise to Main.  So you can't go from the airport to Circus Circus on that route with luggage.

The ACE bus will not go to the airport.
The 108 and 109 will still service the airport after the changes. 
Go to ground level zero by taking the elevator that is oversized and has glass for a view of the terminal as you ride.
When you exit at ground zero, turn to the right and go all the way down.
There is a bus stop and the 108 or 109 will get you downtown from there in 45 minutes.
You can also change buses from those routes, and ride Flamingo or Tropicana buses to casinos on those streets.
If you want to do that, in most cases you want to take the 108 at the airport.
The 109 crosses those streets, but at a distance from the strip.  It might be nice for going to Eastside Cannery with a transfer to the Flamingo bus.  The bus frees tourists without cars from narrowing their stays to the Strip or downtown.  Even Boulder Highway can be reached easily.

You can't ride the Deuce with the kind of large luggage you take when traveling on a plane.  However, the new ACE will allow luggage that fits in your personal space (under seat/on lap/in front of you).  That will make moving from one strip property to another more accessible if you pack light for Vegas.  I pack too heavy and I am too big to have this work for me.  Too bad.

From the airport I have taken the 109 twice and the 108 twice and found both easy, but my buddy took the 109, and he ended up going in the wrong direction, so ask the driver if the 109 bus goes North to downtown or South to the South Strip Transfer Terminal, or you will have to ride there and then wait for it to come back.  You don't have to worry about direction using the 108.

The least crowded day from the airport is Sunday. Since that is a fine day to start a frugal Vegas adventure, and avoid the high priced weekend, it is convenient.
The 108 will also drop you downtown at that same spot you may have experienced on the Deuce just on the side of the Walgreen's. This is very safe for walking to all the downtown casinos.

The 109 will get you a bit closer to the El Cortez, but in a less tourist neighborhood.  Even if I am going to the El Cortez, I prefer most times to walk from Walgreen's where a I add some juice and a few snacks to my luggage.

Walking from the current DTC is only a good idea if your casino is close to that area. California is right across the street from the DTC. Main Street Station is close too.  In the Fall when the DTC changes to Bonneville, other strategies will be required.

This past August trip I walked to the Plaza once from the current DTC and once from that stop near Freemont at Walgreen's. It was hot. The most comfortable walk was the walk was to stay under the canopy as long as possible.
Note also that you may be arriving and need snacks for the room or some favorite toiletry the airport security confiscated. Walgreen's is right there where the 108 drops.

The 108 will NOT get you directly to Terribles from the airport (you'd have to walk back from Swenson or take the Flamingo bus). However, if you are staying at Terribles, a free shuttle will pick you up for free at Ground Zero in their shuttle. I use Terribles not for much gambling, but as a good, cheap location to access the strip at Flamingo or the Palms and Gold Coast as well as the cheapest egg and fruit breakfast available because their 2 for 1 coupons are good for 50% for solo travelers and half the time they give me a funbook with some free buffets.
Ground Zero is also where the Laughlin bus picks up and drops off at the airport. Is is just steps from the 108/109 stop.

Remember to consider the 24 hour pass when coming into downtown from the airport. Ask yourself if you are going to use the bus again while the pass is good. Often the pass I buy at the airport gets me out to the strip the next day, and then I buy a new pass at 2AM after long strip poker sessions. That second pass then gets me out to the strip and perhaps even back on the next day if I come home a bit earlier.

108 Downtown link to strip- changes coming

From downtown the 108 will take you to Terribles where you can take the Flamingo bus to the strip. If you don't mind a walk down Flamingo to the strip, you can stop at Tuscany, or at Ellis Island to use up matchplays or grab some lunch (cheap steak and garlic beans)
Staying on the 108 beyond Flamingo will take you to the Hard Rock. I often go there, use up matchplays, check out all the guitars, and then walk the short distance back to Terribles for a cheap breakfast.
You can also take the 202 Flamingo bus to the strip or stay on to the Palms or the Gold Coast or Rio.

I have also caught the bus back downtown, but not late at night. We can catch the trip back downtown at Flamingo and Sweeney.  It runs on different Flamingo intersections because it runs one way.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

111 - Green Valley Ranch


The 111 is the Pecos bus. One of the buses goes out as far as Green Valley Ranch, if you can believe it. It estimates it takes an hour to get there from Bill's with one transfer.
Friends report it is a long, long ride.

Monday, February 8, 2010



Sunday, February 7, 2010

117 South Point

You can take the Deuce  or any other route that goes to the SSTT (south strip transit terminal).  From the terminal then take the 117 bus to South Point.

Friday, February 5, 2010

201/202 Flamingo and Tropicana

TRIPS ALONG THE 202 AND 201- Flamingo and Tropicana
updated on October 24, 2010

These two routes are one of the easiest and most neglected travel routes in Vegas.  Gone are the crowds on the Deuce and yet these buses are generally Deuce style buses with two levels.  Stops are announced.  They open up sections of Vegas seldom explored by tourists without cars.

The 202 serving Flamingo

The 202 going down Flamingo stops directly in front of Tuscany, Terribles, and except for early morning hours, the Eastside Cannery.  This makes the bus an easy and safe way to go down Flamingo after dark and makes possible access to Boulder Highway. 
Unfortunately, new changes on October  7, 2010 cut late night travel as the bus only goes to Nellis and then only every hour.

If you stay at the Tuscany, ask for rooms in complex B and you will be just steps from the bus stop.

In the other direction it makes the strip accessible to Rio/Palms/Gold Coast.

Getting off beyond these casinos near Arville you have a ten minute walk South on Arville toward the Orleans to get to a laundromat.  It is safe and easy in good weather with your dirty clothes in a rolling suitcase.
Wizard of Suds
275 Arville St.
Las Vegas NV 89103

Daytime walking between the Orleans and the Gold Coast is easy and safe.  It takes about a half hour.  Luggage rolls easily on sidewalks.  I have not done it late at night.

Note by the way that the Gold Coast turns out to be a really fine spot for positioning you for central shuttle and bus travel. The Coast shuttle, the Palms shuttles, the Rio Shuttles and the 202 CAT give you some really great access to so many areas.
You can even go out to the Boulder strip and connect with the 107 to travel up and down Boulder Highway or to head downtown.

However, pay attention coming back to the strip Patty Jean shares this midadventure trying to get back to Paris from the Hard Rock.  I think she needed the 202 but caught the 108  near the Hardrock going in the wrong direction.  At any rate, it shows that we need to keep a good sense of where we are going.  The bus driver will tell you the destination, but here Patty just heard " the strip."  and ended up a long way from her destination.  Thanks Patty for letting me share your misadventure:

Hello, Dewey:
I am afraid I did not ride the bus much at all. I had originally planned to use it to visit some outlying casinos like M and Red Rock, but time just got away from me and I never left the Strip or downtown. I used only the Deuce and one other route for which, unfortunately, I did not get the number. I know it picked me up on Flamingo. I jumped on because I had walked from the Strip up to the Hard Rock, across to Terrible's, then back down Flamingo and I was tired. I asked if the bus was going back up to the Strip and the driver said yes. (I was staying at Paris.) Rather than going straight to the Strip it went around some back streets and didn't get to the Strip until we were down at Wynn. So the ride didn't really help me at all!  You probably know that route number and you might want to warn people not to make the same mistake I did.
My only advice for bus riders is to either buy the 3-day bus pass or make sure they are always carrying one dollar bills. I always visit the bill changer or cashier regularly to make sure my wallet is stocked. The ones come in handy for tips, too.
I love the Deuce and don't mind the slow ride during busy times. I just allow for it. I really like sitting in the front seat on the top deck. It is easy to get. If it is not available when I first board the bus, I just slowly work my way up to it until there is a seat.
I think when I am alone in Las Vegas, the bus is great. When I am with a friend, it seems like it only costs a tiny bit more to take cabs in most situations. I wouldn't buy a 3-day pass.
Feel free to share any of my comments, although I didn't really use the system. I will refer to your site whenever I prepare for trip in the future.


Both intersect with the 108 which currently serves downtown.  The ACE is faster, but if luggage is larger than a shopping bag, you must ride the 108 or other residential routes with luggage.

I took the 202 Flamingo away from the strip to just across the street from
the Atomic Testing Museum
and treated myself to supper at the much praised Himilayan Restaurant before heading to the strip.
I did a little review of this restaurant here:

Sometimes I go on the 202 Flamingo bus from Terribles to the Gold Coast. Then it will be possible to catch the Gold Coast shuttle ( theoretically we need a Coast room key--I never have) to the Orleans and take the 201 from there.

Route 201 down Tropicana

The 201 connects the strip with the Orleans and again takes luggage.

While much of the good gambling is gone from the Orleans, I think the gift shop still sells great playing cards for 50 cents and dice for a quarter and of course a visit to McMullan's for a pint of Smithwick's and some of those homemade potato chips is always a treat.

Once done with all of that, you are in a position to take the Tropicana bus to the strip or farther to places like

This museum is moving closer to the Liberace Museum, but the Liberace Museum is closing October 17, 2010.
Until October 2, 2010:

Easy enough to go there:
Take the uncrowded 201 bus.

Get off at Spencer.

23 minutes from the stop across from the Orleans
16 minutes from the stop along side the Tropicana Casino on Tropicana Ave.

Add in the Pinball Hall of Fame a short 2 minute walk away

from: Liberace Museum & Foundation
1775 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119-6529
1. Head west on E Tropicana Ave
486 ft
2. Turn right toward E Tropicana Ave
56 ft
3. Turn left at E Tropicana Ave
102 ft

arrived at :Pinball Hall of Fame
1610 E Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89119
I would, however, skip going to the Goodtimes Nite Club.
It is just not the same since Club Cyanide is gone:

On the corner of Tropicana and Pecos is my favorite barber who cuts hair in his collection of Western memorbilia:

and one of my favorite breakfast spots is this Salvadorian place in the mall across Pecos from the barber:

Shopping along these routes is good too.  See my shopping thread.

If you have similar bus stories, let me post and share them.  There is something valuable in anecdotal reports that cannot be gleaned from reading a schedule book. If you have favorite destinations along these routes, write me and I'll add them in.


Hello, Dewey:
I am afraid I did not ride the bus much at all on my trip. I had originally planned to use it to visit some outlying casinos like M and Red Rock, but time just got away from me and I never left the Strip or downtown. I used only the Deuce and one other route for which, unfortunately, I did not get the number. I know it picked me up on Flamingo. I jumped on because I had walked from the Strip up to the Hard Rock, across to Terrible's, then back down Flamingo and I was tired. I asked if the bus was going back up to the Strip and the driver said yes. (I was staying at Paris.) Rather than going straight to the Strip it went around some back streets and didn't get to the Strip until we were down at Wynn. So the ride didn't really help me at all!  You probably know that route number and you might want to warn people not to make the same mistake I did.
My only advice for bus riders is to either buy the 3-day bus pass or make sure they are always carrying one dollar bills. I always visit the bill changer or cashier regularly to make sure my wallet is stocked. The ones come in handy for tips, too.
I love the Deuce and don't mind the slow ride during busy times. I just allow for it. I really like sitting in the front seat on the top deck. It is easy to get. If it is not available when I first board the bus, I just slowly work my way up to it until there is a seat.
I think when I am alone in Las Vegas, the bus is great. When I am with a friend, it seems like it only costs a tiny bit more to take cabs in most situations. I wouldn't buy a 3-day pass.
Feel free to share any of my comments, although I didn't really use the system. I will refer to your site whenever I prepare for trip in the future.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Orleans to Palace Station

June 2010

CAT bus north.
Get off at Sahara.
Take Sahara bus to Palace Station.
estimated 45 minutes
Take the Orleans shuttle to Bill's Gambling Hall and Casino.
Take the ACE/Deuce to Sahara.
Sahara bus to PS
Get to Fashion Show Mall
Free shuttle from there to Palace Station