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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 Comments that include websites will not be published.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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Just let's review the advantages

Many Vegas visitors have an overcrowded experience on Vegas strip buses, so they give up the idea of bus riding.
Simply planning routes that use residential buses as much as possible, or free shuttles with residential routes eliminates the overcrowding and lowers the expense.
Just a couple examples:
Going from downtown to Mandalay Bay is a long journey even on the SDX bus.
A good alternative is to catch the WAX at Binions and ride to Tropicana. Then cross the street and take the free shuttle from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay.

Going from Palace Station (where maybe you have free nights from MyVegas) to stay downtown for a couple nights seems a challenge that includes bus stops that feel less than comfortable with luggage.
A good alternative is to take the free shuttle Palace Station offers to the airport and then board the WAX for a quick ride downtown.  It might take a bit longer or seem like you are backtracking, but it might be more comfortable and eliminate luggage on strip bus.

The bus is less likely to cause injury.  Some statistics suggest that the chances of being killed in an accident on a bus are 40 times less likely.  Certainly you will find that you are less affected by locals with road rage, tired or drunk tourists doing erratic things, or wild kids racing down streets.  It also protects you from your own exhaustion or over consumption of free alcohol. 

There is no tipping on buses.  Fees are reasonable.  If you know how to buy a 15 day pass, fees are low.

Buses are particularly frugal for solo travelers or those over 60 who pay half price on residential buses and may buy passes that bring the cost of unlimited rides down to about a dollar a day. 

If you want to do a coupon run to try an offstrip buffet or use a matchplay,  already having a bus pass makes the trip in one sense free and adds to the value of hopping about for frugal deals.
With a smart phone you can read bus schedules or actually check to see exactly when the next bus will arrive at a stop.
Buses can get you to out of the way, fun places that most tourists miss.  Perhaps you'd like to see the cactus gardens or the art museum on the University of Nevada campus.  Perhaps you'd like to scope out some off strip eatery with good reviews and prices well below those on the strip.  Perhaps you'd like to skip gambling one day and play old pinball machines.

Buses allow some very interesting day adventures.  For example, you can start downtown and go our Boulder to play around at Sam's town.  Then take the 202 to the Gold Coast.  Then take their free shuttle to the Orleans.  Then take the 201 to the NYNY area of the strip.  An finally you can head back to downtown on the SDX.
Buses are a way to meet people.  Strike up a conversation and ask a few questions and you may gather some incredible stories.

Buses make a smaller carbon footprint.

The savings in gasoline alone make buses a frugal choice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reasons for traveling by bus over airlines

Some of these do not fit Vegas.  But they do give us something to think about.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Going from downtown to the Orleans

The fastest route is to take the WAX from in front of Binions and then catch the 201 Tropicana bus to the Orleans.
This is my preferred route, especially when the strip is full of traffic. I'd add that if you buy the 24 hour pass for $5 it would also get you back from the Orleans but the last WAX is at 11:36 from in front of NYNY and the WAX runs about once an hour.

 You could go completely free by heading to Sam's Town first, but it would be a very long trip. However, it can be done, and if you want to spend some time at Sam's Town on the way, it might be a good route. 
Here are two ways that might go:

Free Shuttle from downtown to Sam's Town.
Free shuttle from Sam's Town to Harrah's
Free shuttle from Harrah's to the Rio
Walk across the street to the Gold Coast
Free shuttle to the Orleans

Or, walk from Harrah's to Caesar's and get the free shuttle from there to the Orleans

This would take at least three times longer than the WAX and 201 trip and be much harder to coordinate because you'd have to have the various free shuttle schedules and meet them. I'd expect a wait at some point in that trip.

All that being said, it depends too on what you want the day to be like. For example, If you are heading to the Orleans for say, Young at Heart daytime benefits, then the WAX 201 is your itinerary.
 If, however, you would like to get an early shuttle to Sam's Town so as to make the 10 am cheap poker tournament (about $25) or spend a few hours playing full pay nickel VP at Sam's Town, or on a Sunday see the free Toast of the Town show, and then take the Sam's Shuttle to see a Mac King Show (about $15 with the American Casino Guide Coupon) followed with a visit to the Rio or Gold Coast buffet(free at Gold Coast using American Casino Guide coupon and playing for just 250 points) and a walk across Flamingo for the American Casino Guide $10 free play for new signups at the Palms, then the long free shuttle route might enable you to have an incredibly frugal adventure.
 And actually, now that Orleans Young at Heart offers have been extended into the evening, on a Wednesday you could get a free meal there and if the Nite Kings were performing get in a fine early evening of dancing for the price of a cheap drink, and still make the WAX connection at 11:36.

If you are heading back downtown after the last WAX bus from the Orleans, and you have a $5 residential pass, technically you are not supposed to ride the Deuce unless you are a local.
So, you can make another gamble if you like. Take the 201 from the Orleans to the strip and catch the Deuce (probably the SDX is not running, but don't take that one because inspectors might board it) You will know I your residential pass works right after you swipe it next to the driver. If you are not asked for a local ID, then you won't be for the entire journey back downtown.

Also, one other note. I have not picked up the free shuttle at the new location in Caesar's Forum Shop area, but I have not read of anyone who did pick it up there and liked it. It is very user Unfriendly.
Unless, of course, you were looking forward to walking around the Forum Shops at Caesar's or hiking to find the free aquarium. Then the inconvenience becomes again an enabling bit of the journey.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Riding the bus with luggage

I work to avoid luggage on strip buses. They are allowed, but it can get annoyingly uncomfortable. But I always seem to have to make at least one trip with luggage on strip buses.
Then I pick the Deuce over the SDX. It is very difficult to exit the SDX with luggage at crowded times because the folks are entering as you are trying to exit. I prefer to work my way with my large suitcase to the Deuce seats facing the exit door. Next to those seats will usually be a space where the suitcase can be slipped, and exiting will be much easier with the exit door just steps away and no incoming traffic. Usually the only annoying part left is the guy who stands in that exit (against the rules) and does not budge or pay mind to me.
Since I stay downtown and at offstrip places for the most part, the WAX is common luggage carrier.
Last trip I went from Monte Carlo to Mandalay Bay and back on MyVegas and used the shuttle at Excalibur. That was very easy.
The Gold Coast shuttle will take luggage to the Orleans and I'll do that probably on my next trip.
I'm also going to try a few days at Palace Station next trip and to avoid the strip buses I'll use their free shuttle to the airport and then get the WAX to downtown.
If I get one Monte Carlo night with MyVegas I'll try to access that without going on the strip, getting there on the WAX whenever possible. I probably will go from the Palace Station to Monte Carlo by taking the free airport shuttle and then the WAX to Tropicana and rolling down from there. Or if I go from the Gold Coast, I'll use their shuttle to the Orleans and then the 201 bus to the strip.
Now, I have the largest and heaviest suitcase in Vegas. I take the largest allowed on the plane and pack it to 50 lbs. When I arrive at the airport for ease on buses fill it with my carryon luggage, or sometimes I have a second suitcase to ship that is soft and will fit in the large suitcase. It makes it very heavy and awkward on buses. I need to do that because I go for 20 plus days and use a sleep apnea machine. For most travelers, with a normal airplane suitcase, the bus travel would be a good bit easier and if you can lift the bag over your head when exiting the SDX, then the inward flow is not so much of a problem. I do find that having just one bag, even though it is big, is a great benefit over trying two small bags or things strapped over my shoulder.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gold Coast Shuttle changes drop locations/ 202 review

The Gold Coast/ Orleans shuttle now stops in the Forum Shop area of Caesar's and not way down Flamingo near Ellis Island.  This is good news for some, but bad news for others, especially those who liked going to Ellis Island from the Gold Coast.

Sooooo  it seems to me we need to update on the 202 bus that goes down Flamingo.  Here is an excellent discussion board post on that topic.  This bit is from poster Raisengoo:

The 202 Eastbound stops almost in front of the Palms, but just a little bit east. It's only maybe a 2-3 minute walk from their front entrance.

The 202 Westbound stops multiple places in this area, including exactly in front of the Gold Coast. Don't be tempted to get off when it reaches the
Rio. Stay on and the very next stop is the Gold Coast.

May I suggest visiting and putting in "Palms Casino, Las Vegas"-- doing this will show you the bus stops (little blue icons with a bus) on both sides of the street. A picture is worth a thousands words.

The 202 is considered a residential route. One-way trip is $2. A two hour pass is $3. A 24 hour pass is $5. Passes are good on all RTC bus routes.


A more detailed discussion is here: