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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Open letter

I write daily on 5 or 6 Vegas discussion boards, so I think I can reflect the frustrations of tourists in general.

1.  The first frustration is based on your continued attempts to make second class senior bus riders out of senior  tourists.  As I understand it, after 9-11, senior tourists will get no reduced consideration on strip buses even if they start their day's journey on residential buses.  Many of us who stay downtown may start at the BTC and do some exploration on a residential bus route in the morning and daytime, but at midnight we are uncomfortable standing at bus stops off the strip.  At this point the  24 hour pass we bought is no good for a ride back on the Deuce or SDX although what actually happens if we board an SDX with a 24 hour residential pass and no local ID is unclear as there is no longer any upcharge, even for tourists.  Is our 24 hour pass to be thrown away while we buy yet another ticket for our strip bus?  If we are seniors who started with $2 for 24 hours, do we now have to pay $5 just to ride once?
Notes on Facebook indicate that one option is to buy a 5 day all access pass at BTC or Walgreen's because apparently the 5 day is not just all access when no bus driver asks for an ID, but actually planned as all access by definition, although your website information contradicts what was told me on Facebook.  
2. Boarding the WAX at the airport does not give any options on planning a trip's transportation and buying a bus pass other than a 24 hour pass, which the bus driver says is good on all buses, but your site says is not good.  
This is very confusing to tourists.  
The second stop the WAX makes in on the strip, but a 24 hour pass sold on the WAX is theoretically not going to satisfy the Deuce bus driver, or maybe it is going to because he does not actually check a local ID and the local ID stuff is more theory than practice.  But that is confusing.
When tourists come off the airplane and board the bus, they should be able to buy what they need in bus passes to satisfy their trip, either from the driver or from  a vending machine and senior reductions should be included in the offerings. They should not have to pay for a one way bus ride downtown to buy a 3 or 5 day pass.
I have been promoting bus over rental car and cab or whenever tourists are drunk or tired, but it is so confusing that many tourists are just put off because they can't figure out what to do and don't like that what they figure out while they plan a trip may be different when they arrive.

Other smaller irritations:

I am saddened by the reduction in service and routes 202 and 201.  When tourists stay out on Boulder, as more may now with the new express buses, we can use Sam's Town free shuttle to get us to the strip, but we need something to get us back late at night.  It is hard to have the 202 running just once an hour in the early morning hours and not going the same route each time.  
I am still confused on that early morning change because the bus driver on the 202 told me that the 202 goes to Eastside Cannery 24/7 and sits there for a break before it heads back to the strip.   Does that make the Eastside Cannery a nice safe place to grab a 202 in the middle of the night? Does the route pull back in the early morninghours affect access to casinos on Boulder.   I can't figure that out.

Goggle bus searches are great, but often the Deuce and the SDX dominate a search although they don't want luggage.  There needs to be a category that shows tourists routes to places as we go from hotel to hotel with luggage.  The Deuce is not luggage friendly.  I am unsure of the SDX as I was told it was up to the driver, but we don't see the driver as we board.  
Having buses that access the strip with luggage is a real tourist need and would encourage folks to use the WAX from the airport and give them some flexibility to stay different places without high cab fares in between.  In fact, having a handout just for airport arrivees that defined how to get to casinos and ways to access them with luggage would simplify the process for us.  
It might say here is how to go to the Wynn with luggage and include the WAX Koval stop and the 119 .
As the fare structure radically changes to make the strip buses much more expensive, it would be good to have a second category of searches that just reflected the residential buses so we could plan things with residential buses in the way our GPS will plan trips excluding toll roads or highways.

I have not yet seen a route for the new express that links downtown with Henderson and puts all those casinos along boulder in reach.   I would lobby that there be a stop in a safe location.  Right now I catch the 107 up by the Western, but I won't do it with luggage or really late at night.  It was great to have the WAX actually drop us near the Fremont Experience.  That is an easy and safe place to exit or wait.  I am hoping the new Boulder Highway bus will be routed to to that as well.

I don't know if safety is considered in established stops or not, but we tourists do take that into account especially when we have a suitcase will all out belongings.  That NYNY stop for the WAX is just great as is the stop on the other side to access the airport.  They are near the strip and security on bikes passes regularly.  I don't mind sitting there at 2 am but I was not certain if I wanted to sit where I might have to wait for the 108 or 109 out away from normal tourist areas.  It may be fine, but it just did not feel quite right.
I also love the drop off of the 202 at Tuscany, at Terribles, at Eastside Cannery or at Gold Coast going West.  These are right there next to the casino parking lots and even at 3 am feel safe.
I am unsure about Sam's Town drop off.  I'd like to be able to cross the street right there and go directly to Sam's town both with luggage and late at night for safety rather than to have to walk back for a light.

Thanks for reading.  I know this was pretty critical, so I need to assure you that overall I like buses, actively work to promote their use among visiting tourists and am excited about the new buses that started last November and those to start in September.
And whatever you have done to trail drivers approaches the miraculous when compared with the drivers I encountered 20 years ago.  They are just wonderful with me and with everyone.  That and the announced stops help tourists feel certain they won't miss a stop and encourage them to want to ride.
Thanks for that.


Dewey Hill

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