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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Latest Bus Report from Hammie

Greetings Dewey,
Feel free to use my name, my handle or whatever....I am a fan of open communication. I arrived around 9:30 am at McCarran and proceeded to walk out to the bus staging area. I attempted to buy a bus pass at a vending machine but I think the card reader would not accept two cards I carry, a visa and MasterCard. I forget the error message that was displayed, but I swiped each card at least three times. I asked someone at the bus stop and they said I could buy a pass from the driver. When he pulled up, I just pulled out a $5 bill and ran it through the machine, and out came my 24 hour pass. (I would be happy to mail it to you if you'd like) Regarding the SDX bus, I had to run after it and was the last one on, I didn't have to swipe my card as the driver was behind plexiglas and took off as soon as I got inboard. It was a strange set up as if no one was collecting fares, sort of like the Hudson Bergen light rail in Hoboken, NJ where you have to buy a fare card in case you are asked for it. Later that evening, I caught the deuce just north of the Riv and swiped my card, no problems, this was about 8:00 pm. Later, on my way back, at the Fremont stop going south, I boarded a deuce form my return and swiped my card, no problems.

I guess to sum it up, how can a fare card dispensing machine determine if you are local or not, does the fare collecting software "read" your zip code from your credit card? It's possible as on occasion when I have bought fuel for my car, I had to punch in my zip code, this is a security measure to foil someone buying gasoline with a stolen card.

As such, my recommendation would be to buy the card from a reseller such as Albertsons, CVS, etc.

I downloaded a transit guide to my iPad and in the section where it explains fares it reads: based on Federal Regulations, Reduced fares are not offered on the strip SDX or Deuce on the Strip as the fares are already discounted. Residential full and reduced fares are not affected and can be used on all RTC Transit services by showing a valid local Nevada ID.

When I think of reduced fares, look at the stipulations: student K-12, over 60, those with disabilities, and Medicare eligible. So, I think the hang up in your case is that you (if I recall correctly) are 60+ and are trying to buy a reduced fare card for $30. So as the rules are written, you would need to present local ID at the time of purchase and each time you board a bus. I just can't for see a bus driver checking ID when there are 25 passengers trying to board.

I am rambling a bit here, but I don't like the way this issue is prefaced by the phrase "due to federal regulations......" I think it's a classic money grab by a nameless authority who's power is granted by legislature......stick it to the tourists, they fund this town anyway.

At any rate, I am worn out from my walking the trade show and I would like to return with my wife in the near future. I am at the McDonalds across from the Riviera and will put my $10 wifi savings towards dinner. Best to you, 

Dewey, I just realized I didn't answer you fully. I arrived on Tuesday 9/27 at 9:30 am. Also, I forgot to mention that I used the deuce again this morning (wednesday) at 8:15 am to travel toCaesars. So for $5, I took 5 rides in 24 hours. A good deal.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Airport to hotel

I think the shuttle from the airport is good deal, especially solo, unless you are near NYNY or downtown and then the WAX is a better deal, unless you just hit it after one bus leaves and even then I like it.
I like the WAX plus 201 to the Orleans because it is always the last shuttle stop, and rather than a bumpy ride around the town, I like sitting at the NYNY bus stop and watching the people on the walkway and enjoying the last of the themed Vegas Casinos.
And the whole ride cost is equal to the shuttle tip.

But to places on the strip where no luggage bus easily goes, the shuttle is better. I don't like much waiting anywhere out Flamingo or Tropicana with luggage anymore unless I need a bus pass and I'm going to the strip in the Flamingo area.

Then I might take the 109 to stop at a Walgreen's
1180 E. Flamingo Rd.
702-836-9119 (call ahead and ask)
and get a 5 day all inclusive senior pass (if they still sell it) and then wait to go to the strip via the 202 if that is my destination.
If I am on the strip I can't get a senior discount in any vending machine. So it would set me up for the bus.
Flamingo at Maryland in the daytime is no problem with luggage waiting for the 202.
It cost me $1 to get there. Then I use my 5 day pass.
Of I can pay $2 for 24 hour residential, and activate the 5 day all access ($10) later.
Lots of interesting college like places to eat in and around Maryland/Flamingo as well. Even with my suitcase I can probably find a snack if I am hungry. Lately, I get to Vegas in the morning.
If you do this just remember to take the right 109 bus, North, ask the driver if he goes toFlamingo in about 22 minutes. If you take the bus to the south terminal then it is over an hour. But I guess you can do that and get the 5 day and then take the 109 to Tropicana or whereever.

I think the shuttle back to the airport is time consuming and risky. I try to end my trip usually at the El Cortez with one of the most delightful rides in their little car with the driver who talks sports betting and poker. On time, reliable, and direct. I can play poker up until 40 minutes to the airport, get my bags from the bellman, and be in the airport on time.
I hate that feeling on the shuttle where the driver is calling all these hotels and saying things I can't understand and being sent all these new places and waiting for folks who are late and he was thirty minutes late anyway for me although I was an hour and a half early and in the lobby bored to death and still I might be late because I did not leave two hours to wait in the lobby boed to death and will I make security? and just how many more freakin' stops does this guy have to make before he gets there.

If I am not at the El Cortez for my last two nights, I'd rather do the bus, and I will next trip. I'll roll my bags from Harrah's to the 202 ( good exercise before a 5-6 hour flight) go a few stops, then take the 108 on Paradise and be at the airport within a few minutes of my estimate. I can figure the times from the schedule and give myself a bus or two.
If I am awake early I can even stop just before the 108 at Terribles for breakfast, even with my rolling suitcase in tow.
I'm in charge. My luggage is in my hands and not being put off to reload someone else's luggage ( there is no, "will they remember to put my suitcase on again? Will they bang it and break my computer?")

Wednesday, September 14, 2011




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Senior Bus Pass Rates and Issues after 9-11

For now I am going to collect information on this site.  Later I'll incorporate the most current here and then post other places with this address.  At this point I am hoping some of those who ride buses and read in this area can add some information and so move us to something more definitive.

Looks like both 5 and 30 day bus passes for seniors are still alive. They can be bought at the BTC.  Perhaps no longer at Walgreen's.  Here is the research.

Here is what poster


on American Casino Guide board wrote:

OK, I emailed the RTA and this was their response to the question of "would the 3/5 day reduced passes be accepted on the Strip/SDX:

If you are a local or you already have a reduced fare ID card these passes will be accepted.

Thank you,

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Customer Service/RTC Comments

(702) 676-1500

(702) 676-1638 fax

September 28 - I talked to another RTC rep who just gave up on me as I continued to press my questions.  She was nice, but she said I should talk to someone who knew the answers.  She contradicted herself.
She said the the new Vending Machine at the airport was geared for the tourist and had the premium 24 hour passes.  The driver still issued the others.  Reported today was that a fellow board member took the residential 24 hour pass, used in on the WAX and then again on the SDX and maybe again later on the Deuce.
No real resolution of the senior issues I want to address.  I am a long way from having enough to put into an article for the AARP.


Senior Bus Passes after 9-11

Senior Bus Passes after 9-11

I tried to collect the relevant information on where senior bus fares are now.  I expect to get more feedback from places I sent notes to, especially from the RTC itself where I sent a long email.

This thread forms sort of the collection of this material as there are folks who are seniors who ride the bus and read and contribute.  As I learn more I'll update here on this post.  Check back. Eventually, once I know something, I'll do more posting around the discussion board community.