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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.



Saturday, January 9, 2010

WHICH BUSES AND STOPS FEEL SAFE?

Inspirational credits to Can2Do on the BLONDE FOREVER board

This is the key question when riding residential or what they now call general market buses because waiting for a bus does put us out there in the middle of the world and sometimes in an isolated spot.

It is hard to answer the question of personal comfort because we all have different levels of comfort.  When posts have dealt with safety issues, there are always some posters sort of offended that anyone might think they would be uncomfortable in the area discussed.  Those "everyone should be like me" posters make it hard to get a well rounded answer to the question because once they begin the rant, few people then want to admit their fears.
I taught inner city for 30 years and asked for the toughest kids and the toughest classes.  I finished my career in what was an alternative school for kids who had had issues with the main high school and many of those were issues of violence.  You would think that I'd be comfortable anywhere, but I am not. 
Once the Vegas working folks start out in early morning, I am comfortable, but not late night/very early morning when the working girls are out and about with their pimps and the drugs go down.

At the same time, I don't want to see folks abandon the off-strip buses because of some over generalized sense of disease.  We may see characters on the buses, but we are very safe there.  It is at the bus stops that things might go down, especially in isolated areas. But there too some bus stops are perfectly safe 24/7

And riding the bus is much safer than driving a car in Vegas.  Even in the worst scenario, it is hard to imagine dying at the hands of the mugger and easy to imagine being killed by a drunk at the Wheel so some young person who is celebrating with a high speed run down Tropicana.
Look at this last accident at Laughlin.  The dead were just playing their slots when a car burst into the casino and killed them.  That fellow wasn't even drunk or young and crazy.

So the smart thing is is start to divide Vegas into the perfectly safe and the a-little-bit-risky and the do not stand there.  and to have this decent exchange of information we have to put ourselves in other people's shoes as well  as  give our own points of comfort.  It is important to not think of it as an argument about the "true" nature of the safety of any one place,  but to just share perspective and develop with details and examples.  It will be the details and examples that help others decide where they are comfortable waiting for the bus.

I like the walk back to El Cortez now since the East Freemont had upped the cameras and security.  Before, at 3am I would wait to walk with people up that stretch.  I like the new entrance to El Cortez but it too is pretty deserted.  Still, it used to be a dirt area with lots of hiding places.


It seems to me that what we need is a collection of bus opportunities that seem very safe, places where vulnerable people, the old, the single women, etc. have nothing to worry about that they don't face anywhere.  Some criminals attack in crowds where there are cameras.  We can't protect ourselves from them uless we stay home and turn on the home security system.
Others might be hanging on deserted and dark streets aiting for an easy mark. We can avoid those stops.
I will start the list:

I am happy to access the strip using 108 or 116, but I have rarely gone home at 3 am on those routes.  I  don't like where the stops are. 

When I booked at Tuscany without a car last trip, I tried to get a clear understanding of how the Flamingo bus works.  I had trouble even with goggle maps.  In the end it did not matter because Flamingo was all a glow with workmen and huge lights so it was an easy walk.  Also as it turned out the Flamingo bus stops right in front of Tusccany and if you book a room in the B section it is just steps from the bus to the door of those rooms.
Terribles is right in the parking lot.  Just a quick hop over a little rock walkway and you are in the lot and close to the door.
Eastside Cannery is where the bus stops and again there is just a parking lot.  It is bigger than the other two, but it looks safe to me.
Going the other way the bus stops in a well lighted area next to the Gold Coast and the walk across to the Palms seems easy.  The stop to go East is right in front of the Palms.  So the 202 seems a great transportation tool for even the fragile traveler.

The 201 from the circle of NYNY to the Orleans seems safe to me as well.

The 106 coming back from a jaunt out to Texas Station/Fiesta drops right across from the Plaza.

The 108 and the Deuce drop right there near Walgreen's.  I have felt uncomfortable as I approached Freemont with some character and ducked in the Walgreen's more than once.  Since it is open 24 hours and guarded, it is a great safe spot to wait for the guy talking to himself about how you won't give change to move on down the canopy.

I have waited across the street from the Stratosphere at 3am, but I don't like it.  I am too far from the circle, feel unwatched, and often I am alone.  Waiting in front of the Riviera I am more comfortable.  We can get the 108 to go home in the back of the Sahara and that looks fine, but walking that bit from the Stratosphere to the Sahara is sketchy.  I was harrassed there when I gave one beggar a wide birth and he yelled at me so much as I walked away I reported him to security.

I have taken the 116 from downtown to Ellis Island and the drop off is fine, but I would not get off that bus late at night and walk those back ways to Circus Circus and surrounding casinos.  At 9 am I will do that.  I have greater visibility and others can see me.


All of this is going to be a huge bus issue when the DTC moves to the new site as it is nowhere near the current site and that, with the homeless park, is uncomfortable after dark.  How will we access the other routes?  It looks like we are going to have to catch a bus to catch a bus and that we will pick up one bus just to get to the center.  Also that may need to be the ACE.  That is fine, but then the days of saving money by using residential routes are over.  I want to find another alternative.

If anyone wants to reply here, I'd like to list practical, detailed evaluations of which particular stops would be safe for everyone at anytime and which do not seem that safe except for the never scared.

Identifying some of these super safe areas is my plan.  That will free up people to explore other hotels after dark.

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