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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Deciding to WAX or not

One of the changes in November was the opening of the new BTC.  This is five blocks from the Fremont Experience and the casinos.  Some don't mind the walk, but I don't want to make it solo with luggage and perhaps not at all.  So getting by bus between downtown casinos and the BTC means catching a bus.  This is a great summary of all the possible ways to do that collected by a Vegas local who is very savy about bus routes, fares, and schedules.
Remember that the Deuce and the SDX will not always welcome luggage if it is larger than a student bookbag.

PDOG’S INFORMATION
from Vegasmessage board.

Yeah, often before you can WAX on, WAX off, you have to allow time to WANE.
And while the English idiom is generally "WAX and WANE," the bus reality is generally more like, "WANE and WAX."

However, there is the alternative of the 108 or 109 and then something else to get you from the BTC, like 113(or see below for more choices.)
It is tempting when you see that 108 or the 109 coming and going.
However, the trade off is do you want to spend time on the bus or on the bus stop bench.
I'd rather bring a book to the bus stop and sit in the open air than be in the start, stop, change buses mode of the other routes to save in the end maybe 10 minutes. And if you are not getting a 24 hour pass, then one bus is cheaper, just $2 for youngsters who don't have a senior ID, $1 for those of us who have matured. Probably you are going to buy that 5 day bus pass downtown, so it is good to get to Walgreen's as cheaply as possible, paying one way only once.

Whatever you do, don't take the 109 that heads in the wrong direction and go to the South Strip Transfer Terminal. Be certain any 109 is heading North to downtown.
And don't take the 107 from the BTC because someone tells you it ends up close to the El Cortez. You want to be dropped off close to the Fremont Experience even if that is a bit longer walk to the El Cortez, and not up near the Western Casino with your luggage.
A good part of planning bus adventures is knowing where you are going to be dropped off and what its like in that vicinity.

The WAX is faster, uncrowded and uncomplicated. WAX on at the airport. WAX off right there at Walgreen's.

And 4th and Fremont is probably what you want unless you are staying at Main Street Station or the new Plaza and you opt for 108 or 109 to the BTC. Then you might like being dropped closer to those casinos and the drop off is a safe one.

These are the routes you can take from BTC to downtown:

All these take you onto Main Street (near Main Street Station or Plaza)
Route 106 northbound
Route 207 East
Route 208 West
Route 214

*********************************************************
To get near Walgreen's on Fremont:
Route 215 (drops you off at 4th and Fremont)
Route 113 or the MAX (4th and Fremont)
WAX/Centennial Express northbound (4th and Fremont)
Route 402 (4th and Fremont)

Here are the two I would skip with luggage:
Route 107 (LVB and Carson)
Route 208 East (LVB and Carson)





PDog adds:
"There's a ton of routes to get you downtown from the BTC. Don't limit yourself to one or two routes. Just because the terminal isn't as convenient as it once was doesn't mean that the rest of downtown is inaccessible.



From downtown to the BTC, just walk over to LVB and Fremont and catch the Deuce, walk to Casino Center by the Binions for the SDX, WAX and Centennial Express, wait on Main Street by the old rail car next to MSS and catch the 207 West, 106A/B south, Route 214 and Route 208 East."


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Deciding to bus or not - reflections


Time is certainly a factor for most folks. It is not for me because I go for 15 or more days at a time. I also wake up so damned early. It is an old age disease.
So, the bus ride fills time when it really feels too early to gamble.
I do agree that the time argument may be changing, however. If I catch the WAX right, I will certainly beat the paid shuttle to the Orleans this next trip.
And folks reading this who have only some horridly crowded experience on the Deuce with which to judge bus travel, might want to reassess. I avoid the Deuce whenever possible.

I also enjoy the experience. Often I engage someone who has an interesting story and that is one of the reasons I go to Vegas. I like to be in a community of strangers and hear their stories and get information.
In a sense the bus is just like this board.
Two places in Vegas let me do that, the bus and the 2-4 poker table. When I can't engage, I can watch and overhear. I have met some of the most fascinating folks on the bus.
I also like the tour experience. I was so angry when they started to drape the Deuce in those outside advertisements that made the rider experience more only Vegas noir with everything barely visible and dark. However, even on those buses, when I went to where the routes started, I could often get a front seat and the view of the strip from those front windows is wonderful. Once riding along with me from downtown to Flamingo was an old fellow who knew so much detail on each place that a few of us got a guided tour and heard old stories. He was very entertaining.

However, the is a place where lower class and working folks mingle with the more affluent. Some affluent folks would prefer to be insulated in communities of people who are all like themselves. The fine thing about Vegas is that the choices are there to engage or insulate.

And, of course, I enjoy the savings. Vegas for me is a totally frugal experience. My wife says when asked by concerned nongambling friends if I am addicted to gambling,
"No, he is addicted to coupons."
Frugal Vegas allows me to afford my half of the other trips I take with my wife (we keep separate money) So in April and November of this year, I go to Vegas solo on the dirt cheap. But in July I have a good deal on going with my wife, son and his wife and new grandchild to Atlantis for 6 days. Although as the official babysitters, we have a great deal through his company for both rooms and food, that means getting some room worth $800 for only $200 and paying probably close to a hundred a day for food. If I did Vegas as many high rollers do, I would have to cancel both Vegas trips this year to pay for the Atlantis or go into debt.

Retired I just have more time than money. I prefer to travel often rather than to travel high class and stay home the rest of the time.

And while my wife has a different comfort level, I really am more comfortable around less affluent folks. Everywhere I go I tend to ride a bus. In Costa Rica I could have ridden a tourist bus to the beach, but I chose the Tico bus. $4 over $25 but I had to watch my own luggage and walk a ways to find a place to buy a ticket and do without air conditioning. Also there was only one bathroom break in a small town with a very basic toliet in the back of a bar.
But the Tico bus meant instead of riding alongside some tourist from Iowa who knew nothing of the culture (my trip on tourist bus with my wife), I rode alongside a pretty twenty two year old Tika who by the end of the trip adopted me as her grandfather and introduced me to her family when the bus stopped at the beach. She practiced English and I practiced Spanish. On my next trip, she and her girlfriend drove me all around areas of Costa Rica I had never seen. I sent her some music she had been looking for, music her deceased mother had played when the girl was eleven, and she translated some bolero songs for me (the bus driver played boleros all the way to the beach) That was eight years ago. She is still my Facebook friend.
On my way back I rode from the beach I rode with a young college student who was studying architecture and he explained to me what his dreams were, how he wanted to make Costa Rica more green by changing the design of the way they build houses.

So wherever I go I seek out the bus or subway routes because I find them as entertaining as a show.



**************************************************************
another written approach to this issue-  GOOD BOILERPLATE HERE


Yeah, often before you can WAX on, WAX off, you have to allow time to WANE.
And while the English idiom is generally "WAX and WANE," the bus reality is generally more like, "WANE and WAX."

However, there is the alternative of the 108 or 109 and then something else to get you from the BTC, like 113(or see below for more choices.)
It is tempting when you see that 108 or the 109 coming and going.
However, the trade off is do you want to spend time on the bus or on the bus stop bench.
Most of the time I'd rather bring a book to the bus stop and sit in the open air than be in the start, stop, change buses mode of the other routes to save in the end maybe 10 minutes. And if you are not getting a 24 hour pass, then one bus is cheaper, just $2 for youngsters who don't have a senior ID, $1 for those of us who have matured. Probably you are going to buy that 5 day bus pass downtown, so it is good to get to Walgreen's as cheaply as possible, paying one way only once.

I'd like others to do the time math. I am estimating that the most we save in time alone by using the WAX rather than 108/109 is 20 minutes. So I guess if you arrived at the zero stop and the WAX is not due for 40 minutes but the 108 is there, we save 20 minutes. My figures give me 10 minutes to change buses at the BTC and get rolling for the last 5 minutes of the journey.

Whatever you do, don't take the 109 that heads in the wrong direction and go to the South Strip Transfer Terminal. Be certain any 109 is heading North to downtown.
And don't take the 107 from the BTC because someone tells you it ends up close to the El Cortez. You want to be dropped off close to the Fremont Experience even if that is a bit longer walk to the El Cortez, and not up near the Western Casino with your luggage.
A good part of planning bus adventures is knowing where you are going to be dropped off and what its like in that vicinity.

The WAX is faster, uncrowded and uncomplicated. WAX on at the airport. WAX off right there at Walgreen's.

And 4th and Fremont is probably what you want unless you are staying at Main Street Station or the new Plaza and you opt for 108 or 109 to the BTC. Then you might like being dropped closer to those casinos; the drop off is a safe one and you save the seven minute luggage roll down Fremont from Walgreen's.

These are the routes you can take from BTC to downtown:

All these take you onto Main Street (near Main Street Station or Plaza)
Route 106 northbound
Route 207 East
Route 208 West
Route 214

*********************************************************
To get near Walgreen's on Fremont:
Route 215 (drops you off at 4th and Fremont)
Route 113 or the MAX (4th and Fremont)
WAX/Centennial Express northbound (4th and Fremont)
Route 402 (4th and Fremont)

Here are the two I would skip with luggage:
Route 107 (LVB and Carson)
Route 208 East (LVB and Carson)

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