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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.

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