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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buses around the Stratosphere

I owe someone a big apology on these stops. I thought the stop alongside Denny's was a shared SDX/ Deuce stop, but it is a shared 108/SDX. I caught my error on the thread that mattered and reported my confusion before the person went from the airport late at night.
However, I feel bad to have remembered in error.
The Deuce stops heading downtown on the other side of Denny’s.
I carefully checked out the bus stops around the Stratosphere, and I hope I have the right details now.
The easiest way to explain the stops is to position yourself in the intersection where all roads meet (Las Vegas Blvd, Main St. and St Louis) and face the Alarm business that has been there since 1950 and is likely to remain a landmark.
To your left and off the LV Boulevard is where the SDX drops off from Downtown and picks up on its way to the strip. It is right in front of a Carl's Jr. fast food, so that makes it seem a safe stop even at night as Carl's gives you a place to duck into if your street smart hackles rise for any reason just as Denny’s does in the other location. Denny's has the added advantage of having large windows where you can watch for the bus and other people can watch you.

To your right and in front of the Stratosphere is the stop where the Deuce drops off on the way from downtown and picks up for the journey to the strip.
This is a very safe spot.
You could stay in the casino while waiting for the bus. The stop is just a few steps from one casino door.
Behind you at the Denny's is that shared 108/SDX stop. Denny's is open 24 hours and the stop is right in front of glass windows, so you would never be waiting there alone.
The stop that drops Deuce traffic from the strip to downtown is located behind the Denny’s.
This one still seemed safe to me.
There is also one farther South from where you are standing and directly across from the Stratosphere main entrance. It might seem to some just enough isolated and unlighted to be worrisome after dark. And it can't be accessed from the Stratosphere by just crossing the street. To access from our position facing the Alarm business, you would have to cross over to the Alarm business and walk a bit South on the Blvd.
Were I using any of these buses I would not exit the Stratosphere by the main door, but work my way back to either the door near the Deuce stop or one farther back that leads into the parking lot and is almost across the street from the Denny’s.
I don't want to overly concern anyone, and I don't expect trouble right around the Stratosphere, even at night. However, just a few short blocks away there is trouble every night. So you never know.
I could have been killed walking midday to the Deuce stop on my way to check things out. I was on the right side of the sidewalk when without any warning a guy in a golf cart like motorized vehicle flashed right by me at a speed in great excess of anything that should happen on a sidewalk. Had I just staggered left at the wrong time, he would have knocked me down, and at his speed, could have killed me. Just a little bell or horn would have helped keep me safe, but many local drivers in Vegas figure tourists are expendible. There always seem to be so many of them in the way.
Also note that the 108 stop right near Denny's makes getting to the Stratosphere from the airport a short bus ride on a bus route that comes much more regularly than the WAX. This is an isolated casino, but for bus riders it is well positioned. Downtown from the Stratosphere is an uncrowded bus ride at any time, and coming back even early in the morning is very safe with the dropoff just steps from that casino door.

I did not check out the 108 stop heading back to the airport. I can see it is not far, but I did not check for safety issues.

Also, for those who arrive by air during the SDX running hours(until midnight anyway,) this is an alternative route to downtown. Changing to the SDX here is easy. And if you arrive hungry after a long flight, and want a quick bit at Denny's, it is a fine route.
The crowded conditions I experienced putting my luggage on the SDX from SSTT to Paris would not apply as the crowds are gone by the time the SDX reaches the Stratosphere and the 108 winds its way out of major traffic areas and would rarely be crowded.

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