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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.

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