How to get around on buses, by taxi and on the monorail in Las Vegas
By Time Out Las Vegas editors|
For the ultimate Private Grand Canyon West Rim Transportation from Las Vegas, click here.
The bus network is run by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The Bonneville Transit Center (BTC—228 7433, www.rtcsouthernnevada.com) is the transfer point for many routes.
Fares and tickets
Most routes cost $2 or $1 for over-62s and 6–17s and the disabled, but only with a Reduced Fare Photo Identification Card (available from the BTC). The exception is the Deuce route along the Strip, which costs $6 for a two-hour pass or $8 for a 24-hour pass. $20 gets you a 3-Day All Access Pass. Use exact change. Transfers are free, if you ask for one when you pay. A 30-day system pass costs $65.
Buses run 24/7 on the Deuce route along Las Vegas Boulevard, and roughly 5.30am–1.30am elsewhere. The buses are safe and relatively comprehensive in their coverage of the city. Bus stops are marked by signs with the blue, white and gold RTC Transit logo; most have shelters.
The most useful bus for tourists is the Deuce: named as it’s a double-decker bus, it travels the length of Las Vegas Boulevard from the BTC in the north to just by I-215 in the south, stopping in front of all major casinos. Deuces are often busy, especially at night.
Most bus routes run along the length of a single street, some with a quick turnaround at either end of the route. Buses with a route number beginning in "1" generally run north–south; those starting "2" run east–west. Many buses stop at the BTC.
Monorails, shuttle buses and bus tours
After teething problems, the Las Vegas Monorail is now running a reliable service along Paradise Road and then behind the Strip. However, it hasn’t displaced the numerous hotel buses and monorails.
Las Vegas Monorail
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The pricey and not wholly convenient Las Vegas Monorail runs from Sahara Avenue to the MGM Grand, stopping at the LVH, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s, the Flamingo and Bally’s. The service runs 7am–midnight Mon, 7am–2am Tue–Thur, 7am–3am Fri–Sun. The journey time from end to end is usually around 15 minutes. Single-ride tickets cost $5 and one-day passes go for $12; three-day passes for $28.
Free 24hr monorails, separate to the Las Vegas Monorail, link the Mirage and TI; and Excalibur, the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. For all of them, it’s often quicker to walk. A free monorail connects the CityCenter complex with the adjacent Monte Carlo and Bellagio resorts.
Free shuttle buses
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A shuttle bus connects the Rio with Harrah’s on the Strip, just south of Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin). Nearby, the Palms lays on a shuttle to and from the Fashion Show Mall and the Forum Shops. The Hard Rock runs a shuttle that loops around from the hotel to the Forum Shops, Planet Hollywood and the MGM Grand. Shuttle buses link Sam’s Town to Downtown and the Strip, and the South Point and the Strip. And there are free shuttle buses linking Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, Palace Station and Sunset Station to both the Strip and McCarran Airport.
Gray Line offers a handful of Vegas-based bus tours, including an evening city tour (3.5hrs, $59), plus trips out to the Grand Canyon (14hrs, $175), and a half-day jag to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam (4.5hrs, $65). Discounts are often available by booking in advance online.
Taxis & limos
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There are taxi ranks outside most hotels; restaurants and bars will be happy to call a cab for you. Technically, you’re not allowed to hail a taxi from the street and most won’t stop if you try, but it’s usually OK to approach an empty cab with its light on if it has stopped in traffic. Meters start at $3.30, and increase by $2.60 per mile. If you have a complaint, note the cab number and call the Nevada Taxicab Authority (486 6532, www.taxi.state.nv.us).
Limousines are a flash and popular way of getting around. The rides vary from the basic black stretch ($50/hr) to huge SUVs with hot tubs, disco balls and the like ($115/hr). Many limos are available for hire outside hotels and the airport. Limo drivers are not allowed to solicit passengers, but you are perfectly at liberty to approach them for a ride.