Getting Around Las Vegas
I am loath to use taxi services when I travel. I always feel as though I’m being ripped off somehow, so I was so happy to hear about the great bus service on offer in Las Vegas. The RTC Transit provides bus services for The Strip as well as surrounding areas. Below is a breakdown of everything you need to know about getting around Las Vegas.
RTC Transit Bus Services
This is my #1 choice when getting around Las Vegas. The buses are clean, air conditioned and often arrived on time despite construction in the area. I would strongly recommend that everyone use the RTC buses when getting around Las Vegas.
Traveling To and From The Airport
At the airport, purchase transit passes using the Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) located at the bus stops on Level Zero of Terminal 1 and the Departures Level at Terminal 3. TVMs only accept Visa or MasterCard credit/debit cards or exact fare.
Alternately, you can purchase your pass when you board the vehicle, but you must have the exact change ready.
For travelers arriving at Terminal 3 and Terminal 1 of the McCarran Airport, you can utilize the McCarran Airport inter-terminal shuttle to transport between terminals. Simply wait on the sidewalk outside the airport terminal in the area marked for shuttles. There are helpful assistants to direct you, if you get lost.
Located at Terminal 1 is Route 109 which will allow travelers to access the South Strip Transfer Terminal and connect with other routes. This is a short 15min bus trip from Terminal 1.
If you’re leaving Las Vegas, Route 108, Route 109, and the Westcliff Airport Express all stop at the airport’s Ground Level Zero at Terminal 1. If you are traveling to Terminal 3 you can take the Centennial Express and the Westcliff Airport Express which stop at the Departures Level.
RTC Transit provides bus services on the Strip with double-decker buses known as The Deuce. The Deuce runs between Mandalay Bay at the southern end of the Strip (and to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and South Strip Transfer Terminal after midnight) to the Bonneville Transit Center (BTC) and the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, with stops near every casino.
RTC also operates an express bus called The Strip and Downtown Express (SDX). This route connects The Strip to the Las Vegas Convention Center and Downtown Las Vegas to the north, with stops at selected hotels and shopping attractions (Las Vegas Premium Outlets North & South).
202 Flamingo and Other Bus Routes
This bus connected our hotel, located on the corner of Paradise and Flamingo, to the strip. If you want to save money, it’s worthwhile finding a hotel that’s off the strip and simply using the RTC buses to travel between your hotel and the attractions along Las Vegas Boulevard. Like the 202 Flamingo bus, there’s an RTC bus for every route.
Bus Services Prices
The Strip and Downtown Express (SDX) and The Deuce are known as “Premium Service Routes” and premium fares only apply to these routes.
Premium Service Routes
|2 Hour All Access Pass:||$6|
|24 Hour All Access Pass:||$8|
|3 Day All Access Pass:||$20|
All other routes are known as “General Market Routes” and utilize the general market prices.
General Market Routes
|One-Way Fare/One-Trip Ride Card/One-Hour Pass:||$2||$1|
|2 Hour All Access Pass:||$3||$1.50|
|24 Hour General Market Pass:||$5||$2.50|
|15 Day All Access Pass:||$34||$17|
|30-Day All Access Pass:||$65||$32.50|
|Silver Star One-Way Fare:||$.50||$.50|
|Paratransit Card Holder:||FREE||FREE|
Passengers must show an RTC Reduced ID card, any reduced fare ID card from any US transit agency, a Medicare card, or a current Clark County School District issued school ID in order to qualify for a reduced fare.
The RTC does not have a program for low-income workers.
The Monorail and Trams
While not on The Strip itself, the Las Vegas Monorail runs on the east side of The Strip corridor from Tropicana Avenue to Sahara Avenue.
There are seven stations located at:
Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas
Las Vegas Convention Center
Westgate Las Vegas
SLS Las Vegas
The monorail will take you to most of the popular destinations quickly and conveniently, with trains arriving every 4-8 minutes, Monday 7am-12 midnight, Tuesday through Thursday 7 am-2 am and Friday through Sunday 7 am-3 am.
I must be honest, despite the great service on offer, the RTC bus service is not only cheaper but allowed travelers to visit more areas, particularly if you’re looking to travel Downtown or to the airport.
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Several free trams operate on the west side of The Strip:
- Mandalay Bay Tram connecting the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur
- Aria Express connecting the Monte Carlo, Crystals (also stop for Aria), and Bellagio
- Between Treasure Island and The Mirage
Taxis can stop only at hotel entrances or designated spots, so when planning to get somewhere, passengers should inquire as to which hotel or taxi stand is closest to the intended destination. Not always the easiest, or the cheapest, but certainly still a popular choice when getting around Las Vegas.