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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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, April 10, 2013

Reflections on buses and overcrowding

I think these reflections are worth saving here.
They were in response to this discussion of buses.

My busiest bus ride in my last trip, which was last year, came when I decided to grab my 30 day pass ($32.50 senior rate) at the SSTT by taking the 109 from the airport. My first casino of the trip was Quad (Imperial Palace). I had no trouble getting at seat at the SSTT, but getting off at Paris was a real struggle with my overly large and overly heavy suitcase. The SDX was packed and more wanted to enter where I wanted to exit. If I did that again, I'd take the Deuce. It would be a longer ride, but getting on it first could get me one of those seats facing the exit doors, with room for the suitcase and a much easier exit since everyone would just be going out that exit.
Or were I to start a trip again with strip rooms (highly unlikely now that everything, even comps, have resort fees) I would take the 109 North to Flamingo, buy an all access pass in one of the places near Maryland and Flamingo, and then take Flamingo to the strip.

My next trip I'll start with bookings downtown, since the WAX is never crowded and a quick, cheap ride and the Walgreen's there is a good source of my 30 day all access pass, a fine value for a trip of 25 days.

Routes that are uncrowded are WAX, Centennial Express, Flamingo, Tropicana, and the new Boulder highway buses. That being said, if time is a great factor some of these can be long rides and we do have to pay attention to when buses run and when they don't.
I appreciate where Bigdogmom felt it was too long a ride to Boulder Highway along Flamingo.
From downtown now on the HDX it is just 16 minutes (give or take a few) to get to Sam's town from across the street at the Gold Spike. There is only one other stop, at Sahara, along the way. The BHX takes longer and stops often.
I like that HDXroute going out, but late at night it takes longer going back along Boulder. I am more apt to make a different plan, perhaps walk from Sam's Town to the Eastside Cannery and form their parking lot take the Flamingo bus to the strip, play poker until early morning and then take an uncrowded Deuce back to downtown.
Or I might ride up to Tropicana and take the 201 to the Orleans for Big Al's comedy, then the shuttle back to the strip for late night poker and an early morning Deuce ride back downtown.
I avoid strip buses when I can accessing from the residential routes, walking, using that free tram from Bellagio to Monte Carlo. There is another that goes from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay. And when it is inconvenient to go residential routes, early in the morning, then the strip buses are uncrowded.
Making loops seems the most effective plan for my needs, integrating the bus with those free shuttles.
I do think that having more time than money makes buses the better option than being in a hurry and worried about wasting time.
Actually, the best users of the bus I know are a couple from Scotland who come for a couple weeks and ride all over the place on all access senior passes, using American Casino Guide 2 for 1 coupons to eat cheaply at the outlying casinos, and playing penny slots (for just a few pennies) for gambling pleasure. It is amazing to me to see the value they get out of these all access bus passes. However, I think that they are good frugal travelers, have a good long stay (Usually at the Stratosphere which is another great place to catch buses) and perhaps a different attitude toward public transportation than Americans.
See one of those trip reports here: