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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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, March 26, 2014

Bus passes at Walgreen's one stop West of the Orleans

Board friend Keno reports buying a reduced fare pass at this location.

Also here

Walgreen's downtown

1300 E. Flamingo Rd.

This is just East of Maryland and near the library.

The 7/11 has passes but not for reduced fare customers.
Always good to call before you go to these places as they run out.

Convenience of Binions for catching other routes.

In front of Binions is a bus stop that serves the SDX, the WAX, the CX and DVX and each one of these buses goes to the BTC fairly quickly from that location. 

Be careful to get off at the BTC as overshooting with some of the buses will put you a long way from where you want to be.

summary of bus rules

You break no rules if you use the 15 or 30 day pass for the Deuce and Strip. No local ID is required.
A half dozen people have confirmed this with conversations at the BTC and it has been the rule since the 15 day pass was created. Why the Asterik is off the chart on the RTC website is a mystery and it keeps causing the confusion on the 15 day all access pass. The same confusion existed with the 5 day pass back a few years. No asterisk on the website, but assurances from all RTC officials that no local ID was necessary to use it even on strip buses.
Here are some of the reports back two years.

You break a technical rule if you are not a local and use a 24 hour residential pass ($5) and don't have a local ID. Some riders on this board break that rule and none have reported getting bothered. To call you on it, the driver would have to ask for a local ID. RTC did tell me that they installed the machine at the airport because too many people were getting a residential 24 hour pass on the WAX, getting off at NYNY and using it at that stop near MGM to take a strip bus North. With luggage it is pretty clear they are probably not local.

You break a firm rule if you take a reduced fare pass and use it but are not qualified. 60 or over for seniors. I've seen inspectors make people buy a different ticket. I've been asked by drivers to show my ID after swiping the 15 day reduced fare pass.

You break a rule if you buy a pass, do not validate it in the machine, and use it first to board the SDX bus. All other buses validate when you swipe and enter near the driver. Hop on, hop off SDX needs you to first validate in the machine. What will happen is an inspector will ask you to hop off and validate, but the SDX passes some rather tough neighborhoods, and you will probably end up having to wait for the next bus. Validation is what stamps the time on the pass and starts the clock.

You break a rule on jay walking if while waiting for the bus you walk out into the street to see if the next bus is coming. I've talked to locals who were fined for what was labeled, "intentional jaywalking." The fine is hefty.


Okay, this is off topic, but I want to add it to every bus post because I missed it. The Deuce does not run to and from the SSTT except 12:30 to 9AM when the SDX does not run at all. So at the SSTT take either the SDX for most of the day.
Also, the reduced fare machine at SSTT is reported this week as being unable to bring up the reduced fare menu with senior ID. Thanks to Keno for this later info.

He also shares that the reduced fare passes are available at Walgreen's just one stop West on the 201 West from the Orleans. Nice resource.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

106 to Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho.

I have not done this in years.  The 106 used to leave and return to the Fremont area right downtown.  Now it leaves and returns to the BTC.
A google search from Binions recommends quite a bit of walking each way and the walking from Texas Station is rather complex.
I think it is best to get any bus to the BTC, then get the 106 right to that area.  Coming back the 106 is right there and will again go to the BTC with plenty of options for going back and being dropped right near Fremont.
I'd especially do this if I wanted to stay a few days out there.  However, I don't see me lugging suitcases unless I had some free offers.

SSTT reduced fare ID not working

Reports are that the machine at the SSTT is not taking the reduced fare ID and giving back the reduced fare menu. 
Not good news.

Another summary of bus options

Once again I find myself writing details stuff on a message board that might be useful here. 
The full thread is
Originally Posted by johnvic View Post
Dewey, I arrive on Saturday, the 5th of April, and go to the Downtown Grand. I'll probably just stay downtown on the 5th. On the 6th through the 9th I will go to the Convention Center every day. I may also go to the strip for drinks, etc. On the 10th I go to Bellagio. At that point I'll pretty much stay on the strip except for a trip to the Hoover Dam. I'll be hanging out with a friend at that point and I know he won't take a bus to the airport back so we'll split a cab.
So, you pay $2 at the airport when you take the WAX downtown.

The Walgreen's 15 day pass will cost $34
6-7-8-9- to Convention Center
10 - to Bellagio (perhaps two buses)
And then perhaps some bus riding up and down the strip.

I'm figuring that buying individual all access passes in the machines would cost as much or more than the 15 day pass, and the pass allows you the flexibility to take an evening bus ride from downtown if you want to or up and down the strip. I'd get the pass at Walgreen's downtown.
Splitting a cab back to the airport from the strip is a nice convenience.
However, on my last day anywhere near Flamingo on the strip, I check out, go on the 202 down Flamingo and roll my luggage into the Silver Sevens for some food and then take the 108 closer to the time of my flight.

Bus options from downtown include:
*going out Boulder Highway (although the Sam's Town free shuttle is now 15 minutes quicker than the bus to Sam's) to Arizona Charlie's, Boulder Highway, Sam's Town Eastside Cannery, Sunset Station or even Fiesta Henderson.
*going out to Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station
*The CX will get you to the University campus. Nice cactus gardens there and a good museum but it is a big campus with lots of walking.
*If you don't want to search around for stops out of downtown on routes that are new or unfamiliar, remember that EVERY bus that stops at Binions has a stop coming at the BTC where most of these routes can be easily found. Sometimes it makes the bus ride longer, but I've been frustrated chasing changing bus routes, especially the BHX, so sometimes I just go up there. Also in hot weather, you can duck in the AC at the BTC between buses.
* Heading back to the strip. Avoid strip buses when you can. The SDX is quicker when it is running. The Deuce is often packed at night and it is worth walking to get to an SDX stop when coming back to Downtown. The Centennial Express will get you to the strip far North at Spring Mt Road. The WAX will get you to the strip at Tropicana. Both avoid traffic.

* On the strip remember the free trams from Bellagio to Aria and Monte Carlo and again from Excalibur to Luxor to Mandalay Bay. These are generally more efficient than the city bus.
Other free shuttles are here:

The Boyd shuttle currently stops way, way back of Bally's so it is a walk to the strip, but it is very near Ellis Island.
Watch traveling late night and having to be at bus stops out and away from the strip on say Flamingo or Tropicana. That being said, the 202 stops right at Gold Coast, Silver Sevens, Tuscany, and dead ends at the Eastside Cannery where the driver takes a break. That is a safe and easy stop to use going back to the strip late at night. Sometimes Eastside Cannery has some interesting late night lounge entertainment including my favorite Latin music event, Claudia Castro on Monday 10-2.

Okay, that is about all I know.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Downtown to Bellagio

Again, my answer on a discussion board seemed detailed enough to keep here.

I have large luggage, so I prefer the Deuce. It is a longer ride, but usually not so crowded at the times when you would be checking out of downtown, and it is probably not crowded when you catch it. Also, the Deuce in late morning is uncrowded going South until it gets beyond Circus Circus.
I try to make my way to the center seats facing the exit door. This gives me room for my luggage, sometimes even a space between those seats and a bus wall where my luggage can be slipped away. If I can't get a seat there, I stand there and usually a seat will open up along the journey. What this does is eliminate the hardest part of luggage on the Deuce, getting the suitcase down the aisle to the exit door. If I position myself early in the journey when the bus is less crowded, then exiting is very simple.
But the real advantage over the SDX is that when I exit, everyone is exiting at a dedicated EXIT door. I may slow up the line a bit, but on the SDX I am exiting with luggage and facing a crowd of people entering using the same door; it is like swimming upstream against a salmon spawn.

Now if I were going to the Bellagio, I'd take the WAX to Tropicana, cross over the strip and walk go to Monte Carlo, go inside and then take that free tram from Monte Carlo to Bellagio. I have not done that, but I think you could do it with luggage. When I call, they seem puzzled, but they don't say no. I think they don't see much luggage on that free tram.

Also, after the WAX you could just take the Deuce from in front of MGM to Paris. There was construction there last time so I had to walk a bit North to find the stop. Again, I'd take the Deuce. I had one hell of a time exiting at Paris from the SDX with luggage.

It might seem silly to go farther South on the WAX and then backtrack, but the goal in easy bus riding in Vegas is to avoid as much strip riding as possible. And the WAX is fully set up to accept luggage.
Now, I don't know what passes you are using. You can try boarding the Deuce with a 24 hour residential pass that you buy on the WAX, but that technically as a tourist you can't use. If they ask for a local ID, play dumb and tell them you are just going as far as Bellagio. You have less chance being asked on the SDX because it is unlikely you will see an inspector between MGM and Paris.
So, then the residential 24 hour pass for $5 would probably work. Even if they put you off the bus to get the right strip pass, they would do it at Paris. On the other hand, if the bus is just to get you from downtown to Bellagio, then $2one way on the WAX, and $5 two hour on the Deuce is not much money. Or for $8 from the machines in front of Binions you could buy a 24 hour strip pass good for your trip and for any other trips within a 24 hour period.
Often when the bus is compared to shuttles or cabs, folks forget that added into any 24 hour pass are opportunities to travel all that day and perhaps part of the next for no added expense. So the value of the bus often increases if you intend to see something away from your base hotel.

If you do choose the SDX, be sure to validate the pass before you get on the bus or you'll be dropped off to validate and that is not a great task with luggage. On the Deuce or WAX you validate when you pass the driver.
When you come home post your experience and let us know how it went. I'd especially like to know how going WAX to tram to Bellagio worked.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bus Passes near Ellis Island

 Eleven - 4158 KOVAL NR FLAMINGO
4158 Koval Lane
(702) 734-8604.
I called tonight to check the details.
They do sell the 15 or 30 day RCT passes, but they were out of them today, so call ahead.
They do not offer any reduced fare prices, so seniors will have to buy a pass at other locations like the SSTT, BTC or Walgreen's downtown.