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Averill park, New York, United States
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bus passes at 7 11 near Ellis Island

It was reported that the 7 11 near Ellis Island carries the 15 day and 30 day bus passes.  The board friend who bought a pass there, however, said the reduced fare passes were out of stock.  I'll have to call and see if they are often out of stock or that was just a fluke.
Quite a bit of bus discussion on this thread.  Worth a look.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

new bus routes to terminal 3

Starts on March 2

March 2
Both the WAX and the  CX will drop off and pick up at Terminal 3.  This will be a great benefit for International travelers.  Each bus makes one stop near the strip (CX on Spring mtn Road and LV blvd. /// WAX on Tropicana outside NYNY.} and both  buses go to downtown.
There is a shuttle between the two terminals.
Domestic travelers arriving at Terminal 1 and shuttling to Terminal 3 could now get on a bus that would access the strip at Spring Mtn Road directly from the airport.  So it opens up the possibility of staying at Wynn, TI, Venetian, Mirage and getting very close by residential bus from the airport.  I'd expect both of the buses to comfortably accommodate luggage unlike crowded strip buses where large suitcases can be a nuisance.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Advice to another tourist on getting ID and pass

This fellow wanted to get the ID at the BTC and only use it a few times on Tropicana and Flamingo.  He would start at Bally's. 
Basically, the cost of getting to the BTC is half the cost of a 15 day pass to after suggesting some alternatives, I try to talk him into the pass

There is no reduced fare for any reason on the strip buses SDX or Deuce.  Everyone pays the same fare unless they have a 15 or 30 day pass when they board.
I guess you might make the trip to the BTC and back on just one fare of $6, but it is only $8 for 24 hours of strip bus riding and then you are covered if it takes longer than two hours.  I'd get the $8 24 hour pass right there in the machine at Paris and be worry free.  You'll get the value of it back.
That 24 hour fare would cover your ride during those 24 hours on all other buses. 
The strip 24 hour pass is also good on residential buses. 
So you could use it to go down Flamingo later that night and eat and come back, saving two senior dollars. 
Or as long as you are at the BTC, you could hop downtown and see what is happening there and then come back from there on a strip bus whenever you wanted.

Or as long as you are investing in the pass, why not plan that night for a good show in the strip Tropicana area, or use the free tickets in the American Casino Guide for some free comedy at the Riviera.  You might as well get as much value as you can from the strip pass on the day you buy it. 
And the next morning you can ride at least one way on Flamingo for brunch if you board the bus before the 24 hours on the pass are up.
For walking on the strip and avoiding the bus, there are some helpful free shuttles.  There is one between Bellagio and MonteCarlo called City Center.  There was one between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay, but I don't see it listed now.  Still, I think it is there.
  So from Bally's to cover all of the South strip with no strip bus, you just have to walk between Monte Carlo and Excalibur. 
Take a look at these maps to see possibilities.

Or you can take the free Boyd shuttle behind Bally's to the Orleans.   We like to do that for the senior benefits on Young at Heart Day (they recently changed the day and rules and I can' find the details, but I think with very little play you could earn a free buffet that day and we often see a cheap movie) 
From the Orleans you could then access the strip at Tropicana, using your ID and a dollar, by taking the 201 bus down Tropicana.  Catch it across Tropicana but walk up to the light and then back to the bus stop to be safe.  [B]Don't jaywalk!!  [/B]
This is a good route if there is a show near Tropicana that night you would like to see.

And of course, you could take the Tropicana bus from the Orleans out East to where you like to eat.

Since you like going out around the University campus area to eat, you might check the route of the Centennial Express which weaves around from Downtown to the UNLV campus area, stopping once near the strip at Spring Mountain Road.
This too is a residential bus where your discount lets you ride for a dollar one way or $3 for 24 hours.

[B]Now, after all those options, here is what I would actually do if I were you.[/B] 

I'd get settled at Bally's and grab the Bellagio shuttle to Monte Carlo and walk to the WAX bus just around the corner of NYNY on Tropicana.  It runs once an hour so keep an eye on the schedule.
Just copy the times it hits the NYNY bus stop from the schedule here on this site.
Note that the WAX will get you to the BTC in [B]just 12 minutes[/B].  Pay attention so you don't miss the stop as it will come sooner than you think.
The speed of the bus will make up for the round-about route.
I'd try to pay one dollar using my Medicare card as proof of senior status to get to the BTC on the WAX bus.  At most it will be $2.

At the BTC I'd get my photo ID and then spend $17 for a 15 day pass.  I'd have now spent just $18 and my entire week of bus travel would be covered on any buses at any time. 
I'd spend another dollar and get a complete book of bus schedules for easy reference.
Maybe on your next trip, you don't get a 15 day pass, but on this first trip you are going to invest half of the cost of the pass just to get to the BTC to get the ID.   Then you don't have to worry about walking the strip at all for the whole week.  You can walk when you want and ride when you don't.

I am assuming that you don't want to ride buses with luggage.  If you did, you could actually take the WAX from the airport directly to the BTC, get the ID, the pass, and the book, and hop on the SDX or Deuce to take you up to Bellagio and so to Bally's.
That would mean that for your $18 ($1 WAX and $17 pass) you covered your transportation from airport to your hotel as well as a week of unlimited travel on any buses and the obtaining of the photo ID for next trip. 
But you would have to load your own luggage on and off the WAX and on and off the SDX or Deuce. 
And getting back to the airport from Bally's along Flamingo and then Paradise (route 108)  is easy with the pass as well.  I often have taken that route, rolled my luggage into Terrible's for a quick brunch before my flight and then out again to catch the 108 to the airport.  If you could do that, you could cover all your transportation cost for unlimited travel all week and transportation to and from the airport for less than one cab ride to the airport.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Basics in buying an all access senior pass

24 hour passes on residential buses are $5, but are technically not good on SDX and Deuce.  You can get them as you board a residential bus like the WAX because residential buses all have drivers who take fares. 
Those passes at Walgreen's are not 24 hour passes, but 15 or 30 day passes, probably longer than most folks visit.  However, the advantage there is for seniors. and a visit of just 4 days is enough to realize some savings. 
There is no senior reduction on SDX or Deuce buses, but buying a 15 or 30 day pass gives seniors all access to all buses for that period, so it makes riding strip buses very cheap. 
Be certain to validate the pass before you hop on the SDX.  This starts the 15 or 30 day period.  If you first board a residential bus or the Deuce, when you swipe the card it will validate and start the clock ticking, but the SDX is a hop on and hop off bus.  You don't want to have to hop off, perhaps in a bad neighborhood to validate the card in a machine because an inspector sees that you have not had the time of first travel stamped on the card.  You should have a senior RTC ID to show the driver or to bring up reduced priced menu at SSTT.
For seniors the 15 day pass is just $17 at Walgreen's and other places like SSTT or BTC, so it is cheaper than a 3 day pass on a strip bus.  A 30 day pass is $32.50 for seniors.
You do need proof that you are a senior when using that pass.   Most of us have a picture ID made free at the BTC.  It takes about 15 minutes.  However, I have seen signs that say a Medicare card will work.  I have not tried that because I got the ID before I turned 65 and so  before my Medicare card.  The ID is good for 5 years.
There are other places around Vegas to buy passes, but most are not where tourists would be likely to travel.
Other visitors I know have taken the 109 out of the airport to Maryland and Flamingo and bought them at a nearby store (Albertson's I think) and then used them to get to the strip via Flamingo. 
You can also buy one in a machine at the SSTT by taking the 109 from the airport South.  However, to get the reduced senior rate you will need a senior ID.  You put that in the machine and it will bring up the menu of reduced fares. I did not like using the machine.  I like to get mine from a person.  However, if you were staying South strip, you could take the 109 to the SSTT, get the pass,  and use it to take a strip bus to your South Strip casino.  I took the SDX to Paris with large luggage and the crowd coming into the bus at Paris was very hard to fight in order to get out.  If I did that again I'd take the Deuce because the exit door is not an entrance door as well. 
I generally stay downtown, so I arrange my trip to take the easy WAX from the airport to downtown for a dollar (senior rate) and then I can get settled and at my leisure buy a 15 or 30 day pass at Walgreen's.  The WAX is made for luggage and even my large suitcase is no trouble.