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Getting Around in Las Vegas (Part 2) – Limos, Buses, Monorail, and Trams

Often overlooked, the Las Vegas monorail can be a great way to traverse The Strip.

In this second entry in a two part series regarding in-town Las Vegas transportation options, we’ll consider limousines, buses, the Las Vegas Monorail, inter-hotel trams, walking, and a few others. In the initial entry, we covered taxis, shuttles, and rental cars.

Limos : Limo options, base costs, and add-on fees vary a bunch in Las Vegas. Because of that variation, this is a transportation option that should be thoroughly researched in order to make best decisions regarding needs and costs. The range in limousine service options in Vegas runs from sedan airport to hotel transport up to full-coach size (seats 56 people) party buses.

Limo advantages include…

  • Limited waits compared to cabs at airport
  • Better, more of a “it’s Vegas,baby!” ride compared to shuttles or cabs for those not concerned with the relative costs
  • Potential amenities (champagne, roses for women, etc) vs shuttles or cabs
  • More passengers can ride together in some versions compared to cabs

Basic limo types in general ascending order of base costs per hour , seating capacity, and number of luggage pieces are…

  • Sedans :  $40 – $75 per hour ; seats 2 – 3 ; 7 pieces luggage
  • Stretch limo : $55 – $110 per hour ; seats 6 ; 7 pieces luggage
  • Chauffeured SUV : $55 – $180 ; seats 6 ; 10 pieces luggage
  • Vintage car limo : $75 and up ; seats 2 – 3 ; 7 pieces luggage
  • Passenger Van : $115 – $225 ; seats 10 – 14 ; 12 pieces luggage
  • Hummer Stretch Limo : $120 – $300 ; seats 16 ; 10 pieces luggage
  • Motor Coach : $375 and up ; seats 56 ; 60 pieces luggage

Potential add-on fees for limo services include…

  • $2-$5 airport pickup surcharges for sedans / $20 for motor coaches and limo buses
  • Most companies insist on 20-25% (of base costs) gratuities for drivers / check if tips are included in quotes
  • Baggage handling
  • Wait fees
  • Extended distances charges
  • Extra passengers
  • Fuel surcharges

Las Vegas limo services options are…

  • Transfers to / from airport
  • One-way transfers, point-to-point, & town car services
  • Weddings, anniversaries, bachelor, and bachelorette party services
  • Birthdays, concerts, sporting events
  • Large group outings and tours

Check this Las Vegas limo link that lists over 100 different limo companies with contact info and website links, where customers can obtain specific limo quotes.

Monorail : The Las Vegas Monorail initiated service in 2004, and had carried 50 million passengers by December 1, 2011. The monorail has seven stop stations along it’s 3.9 mile route located behind the east-side Las Vegas Strip hotels. The monorail operates from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily (until 3 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Phone 702-699-8200 for info.

Advantages of using the monorail are…

  • Speed (trains run every 6 minutes / entire run is completed in 15 minutes)
  • Convention Center access
  • Runs when Strip and major intersecting roadway traffic routes are backed up
  • Comfortable, climate-controlled ride

The biggest disadvantage of the monorail is lack of convenient access and distance from the west-side Strip properties. Visiting the west-side Strip casino-hotels requires considerable walking distances when the monorail is the chosen means of transportation.

The seven station stops (in order from north to south locations) are…

  • Sahara
  • LVH
  • Convention Center
  • Harrah’s / Imperial Palace
  • Flamingo / Caesars Palace
  • Bally’s / Paris
  • MGM Grand
  • Monorail route map

Ticket options and pricing are…

  • Children 5 and under ride free
  • Single Ride Ticket = $5 ; one person for one entry/ride
  • One – Day pass = $12 ; unlimited 24-hour pass for one person
  • Three – Day Pass = $28 ; unlimited 72-hour pass for one person
  • Nevada residents with valid ID = $1 per ride, with 2 ticket maximum per day
  • Group rates for 12 or more people are available
  • Check the LV Monorail website for occasional promotions / discounts; reps promoting the monorail in the casinos near the station stops occasionally give out ticket discounts
  • All tickets are valid for one year from date of purchase
  • Tickets can be purchased at vending machines near each station entrance, ticket booths located at each end stop location (Sahara and MGM Grand), or online.

Buses : The public transit bus system in Vegas is operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The system carries 64 million Las Vegas visitor and local riders annually. The system offers well over 40 routes in the area with more than a third of those operating 24/7. All RTC buses are air-conditioned, all are wheelchair accessible, and most have racks that accommodate bicycles.

Advantages of riding RTC public buses are…

  • comparatively low cost
  • multiple interconnecting stops with reasonable wait times for popular stops (7 – 17 minutes scheduled)
  • accommodation for the handicapped (wheelchair accessible) and bicyclists
  • climate – controlled buses

Disadvantages of this transportation option include longer wait times at some stops and the overall logistics of getting to desired places without having to endure multiple stops.

The basic fares for RTC transit buses are…

  • The SDX and Deuce Strip routes have 2-hour ($6), 24-hour ($8), 3-day ($20), and 30-day ($65) fare purchase options.
  • Children 5 years of age and under ride free and must be accompanied by an adult
  • Check the RTC fare link for residential, local, paratransit, seniors (60+), and other reduced fare options
  • Tickets / passes can be purchased at 7-Elevens, Albertsons, Walgreens, Moneytree, and other local businesses all over town. Ticket vending machines are also located at many of the stops along various routes and they require exact change. Online ticket purchases are also an option.
  • Riders boarding RTC buses must have exact change if paying upon entry, as drivers do not make change.

 

RTC routes for transportation from McCarran Airport are…

Phone 702-228-7433 or view the complete RTC Transit Guide for further info.

Inter – hotel trams : There are three climate-controlled, inter-hotel tram systems on the west side of the Strip which are free to ride. These trams all can significantly cut down on the amount of walking required to move between specific casinos or access nearby attractions on the west side.

The free trams are…

  • Excalibur – Luxor – Mandalay Bay tram ; The southbound express tram runs only from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay ( 3 minute ride), while the northbound tram beginning at Mandalay Bay stops at both Luxor and Excalibur ( takes 7 minutes total). The express tram ( southbound) runs daily from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., while the northbound all-stops tram operates from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Mirage – Treasure Island tram ; This tram operates from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday -Thursday and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The tram departs approximately every 8 minutes, with each leg of the trip requiring about 3 minutes.
  • Bellagio – City Center – Monte Carlo tram ; This three-station tram operates 20 hours daily from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. Two 95-foot trams run simultaneously in opposite directions, with a capacity of 132 passengers per tram. The roundtrip from Bellagio to Crystals retail area at City Center and ending at the Monte Carlo requires 6-7 minutes time.

Other transportation options in Vegas : According to the 2011 Vegas Visitor Profile data, 25% of visitors claimed their main source of in-town transportation was walking. Walking the Strip adds a perspective to a Vegas getaway that might be unattainable with other methods, provided walkers are prepared for it. Comfortable shoes, plenty of water consumption (particularly during April – September months), sunscreen, headwear,  and careful attention when crossing Las Vegas Blvd (only at designated crosswalks) are central to that preparation. Walkers should remember that the sheer size and mass of Vegas Strip hotels can cause deception in estimating distances.

Other options and their lower-end cost estimates for getting around in Vegas include…

Cheers…

 

(Photo credit: planetc1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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