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Turtleman
01-29-2011, 04:20 PM
Just wanted to say that Ms Gecko and I used the WAX between McCarran and downtown and between downtown and Suncoast within the past week and can't praise it enough! It's fast, cheap ($1 for me and $2 for Ms Gecko), and nearly empty. It makes only a few stops and is nearly as quick as taking a cab and obviously much less expensive. Going to the airport from Binion's, it stopped at the new transit station for less than a minute, then took I-15 to the Tropicana, waited a few minutes to catch up with its schedule, and then straight to the airport. WOW - that bus route is the best improvement in Vegas we've seen in years! You'd have to be crazy (or rich) to go any other way.

Jimbo338
01-29-2011, 04:37 PM
Great news for us Turtleman; what time of the day was it? Would there be a problem with large suitcase and a carry on? Do you get your ticket in a machine or pay when you board? I am still a little unsure of how to get to the bus terminala from the southwest baggage carousel. thanks

Jimbo338

Turtleman
01-29-2011, 05:31 PM
Jimbo: I can't blame you for being confused, especially with the Deuce and Strip and Downtown Express requiring prepaid tickets. The Strip and Downtown Express is terrific, but doesn't go to the airport. Fortunately, the WAX does and you pay when boarding just like the 108, 109, and other "normal" routes. The WAX picks up and drops off at the same location, which is on Ground Zero. Just go down the escalator midway through baggage claim (right side) and walk a short distance across the parking lot where many of the limos are parked. The bus stop is toward the right end of the lot, and anyone down there is sure to know if you get lost. The only downside is that it comes about once an hour; but even if you have to wait, it's still probably faster and less crowded than the other routes. The schedule is probably on the RTC site at http://rtcsnv.com No problem taking luggage, which has to be expected on a route serving the airport.

catman
01-30-2011, 10:50 AM
I thought you could pay cash when riding the Deuce.

pdog89149
01-30-2011, 11:49 AM
The only routes you have to pay before boarding are the SDX and the Centennial Express. While you can pay on board the Deuce, I'd suggest using a TVM if there is one at the stop so you can speed up the boarding process. Everyone fumbling for cash and trying to straighten it out prior to boarding is part of what slows the whole thing down. If there is a TVM and you have time to do that, I'd pay prior and already have your pass ready to swipe at the farebox.

catman
01-30-2011, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the info Pdog.

chef
01-30-2011, 02:05 PM
Something you may run into with the Westcliff is this - by the time you reach Ground Zero to catch it, it may have just left and the wait for the next one can be a half hour or longer. Do you wait it out or jump on the next available 108 or 109?
From Turtleman's description, Westcliff is the way to travel for downtowners. Besides the comfort level, it certainly is a faster ride. But, if the 108/109 can get you there first, what do you do?
When I was faced with this dilemna a couple weeks ago, I took the 109 and indeed reach my destination before the next Westcliff would have.
But, in the future, I may choose to wait for a Westcliff bus. The quality of life on board Westcliff may make it worth it.

Turtleman
01-30-2011, 02:29 PM
We initially took the free shuttle from McCarran to Suncoast, but did take the WAX between Suncoast and downtown and again from downtown back to the airport. Upon arrival in Vegas, we didn't get into the terminal until a few minutes after 10 am, and the Coast shuttle didn't depart 'til 11. That pretty much has to be a worst case wait for the WAX, so we "camped out" and used the free WiFi to check and send a few emails. (If no computer, then beer should work even better!)

Now that we've used the WAX a few times, I can say with confidence that we'd rather wait an hour at the airport than take the 108 or 109 to the new and inconvenient downtown transit center. The WAX is a pleasure to ride, and I don't think I need comment on the others.

doctor_al
02-03-2011, 06:09 AM
Just wanted to say thanks for the update on this. Looks like the WAX (and SDX) is a step forward, even if the new DTC is a step backwards. And you are so right about the TVM's, I've wanted them to go to those for a while to speed up boarding.

One note to folks considering bus options, you can use maps.google.com to find routes. Right click on where you want to go and select "directions to", right click on where you're starting from and select "directions from", then click on the bus icon in the Directions panel on the left side of the screen. Doesn't show stops and may not be exhaustive about routes but I think it's a lot handier than the RTC site when you just want to scope out your options, and it's at least updated to include the WAX and SDX.

Jimbo338
02-03-2011, 08:48 AM
Thanks again, Turtleman; I think I'll print out your reply. Is therre a ticket machine there. I hate to pay full price to get downtown and buy my old guy pass for 3 days or so.

Jimbo338

doctor_al
02-04-2011, 05:48 AM
According to the RTC site, there is a Ticket machine at McCarran. Doesn't say where.

squidward
02-04-2011, 08:13 AM
A few comments on the WAX. I paid two dollars (exact change) for the ride from Airport to Down-town and used unexpired 72 hour pass on the way back. I gave the pass to a lady to use the balance as I got off at the Airport, so she rode for free!

Sorry, I do not recall if there was a kiosk for passes at the Airport.

If you are staying at MGM, Hooters, Tropicana, etc.; one of the first/last stops before the Airport is a very fast and fairly convenient travel option for that part of the Strip in addition to downtown.

Luggage is no problem and I was encouraged by both drivers to spread the word on the value of this route.

On weekday mornings the bus runs on a 20 - 30 minute schedule, I lucked out and had no wait when I boarded at the Airport.

Morpheus7272
02-06-2011, 02:59 PM
Does this route go from the airport to the BTC only, or does it stop nearer to Fremont as well?

Dave

catman
02-06-2011, 06:38 PM
I believe it stops at 4th and Carson before leaving downtown heading north.

Joe
02-14-2011, 07:19 AM
Reviving this thread. I'm not a bus rider but my brothers arrive Sunday and they take great pride in getting their senior discount taking the bus from the airport to downtown.

So, if I read correctly, the best option for them is WAX. They can pay on board or if they find the airport ticket dispenser, prepay.

If they miss it, then the option is the 108/109, or wait for the next WAX.
If they take 108/109, then they have to change buses at the new BTC, is that correct?

If they take the WAX, no bus changes and it drops them at Binion's or where??? They're staying at Four Queens.

Returning, sounds like you catch the WAX across from Binion's? Do they have to prepay for that one, since I think I've seen a machine there on the sidewalk.

Thanks, just trying to help them out since they haven't been to Vegas since all the changes in routes.

Turtleman
02-14-2011, 07:48 AM
The downtown stop going north (from the airport) is at 4th and Carson, which is a short block south from Walgreens, and eventually ends up at Suncoast. The Binion's stop takes you south with one stop at Tropicana and continuing to the airport. There's no problem paying onboard at any of the Westciff stops, thus no overwhelming reason to prepay.

Actually, passengers with time left on their passes sometimes offer them to those standing around waiting to board. That's one good reason NOT to prepay

Joe
02-14-2011, 08:00 AM
The downtown stop going north (from the airport) is at 4th and Carson, which is a short block south from Walgreens, and eventually ends up at Suncoast. The Binion's stop takes you south with one stop at Tropicana and continuing to the airport. There's no problem paying onboard at any of the Westciff stops, thus no overwhelming reason to prepay.

Actually, passengers with time left on their passes sometimes offer them to those standing around waiting to board. That's one good reason NOT to prepay
And if they take 108/109 there is a bus change involved at BTC?

Turtleman
02-14-2011, 08:07 AM
Joe: I haven't ridden the 108 or 109 since the changeover, but I'm assuming you'd either have to hoof it from the BTC or transfer to another bus. Considering the duration and hassles (though sometimes entertaining) on the 108 and 109, I'd rather wait for the Westcliff.

Joe
02-14-2011, 08:10 AM
Joe: I haven't ridden the 108 or 109 since the changeover, but I'm assuming you'd either have to hoof it from the BTC or transfer to another bus. Considering the duration and hassles (though sometimes entertaining) on the 108 and 109, I'd rather wait for the Westcliff.
Thanks for the helpful info.:nworthy: They are not senile or anything, just trying to help them out.

Joe
02-14-2011, 08:38 AM
The Binion's stop takes you south with one stop at Tropicana and continuing to the airport. There's no problem paying onboard at any of the Westciff stops, thus no overwhelming reason to prepay.

OK, maybe I'm getting senile, but looking at the route map
http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/route/westcliff/westcliff%2811-07-10%29.pdf
It looks going back to the airport (south) they stop at BTC, (g), Premium Outlets (h) and then Trop. (i) Am I reading this wrong?

chef
02-14-2011, 08:54 AM
If taking the 108/109, you would need to hoof it from new DTC to Fremont St.

Turtleman
02-14-2011, 09:00 AM
OK, maybe I'm getting senile, but looking at the route map
http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/route/westcliff/westcliff%2811-07-10%29.pdf
It looks going back to the airport (south) they stop at BTC, (g), Premium Outlets (h) and then Trop. (i) Am I reading this wrong?Yeah, I think you're right Joe. The stops were less than a minute and I only took the Westcliff one time from downtown to the airport and a couple times between downtown and Suncoast. It gets confusing.

Joe
02-14-2011, 09:07 AM
If taking the 108/109, you would need to hoof it from new DTC to Fremont St.
It doesn't sound inviting, but I thought a bus change, transfer at BTC was an option?

They'll have luggage so I if you are correct, I need to tell them to not even think of the 108/109.

Anybody know for sure?

RonDiaz
02-14-2011, 01:24 PM
I agree WAX was awesome. I used this bus several times during CES week. It was under 20 minutes from pickup downtown to LVCC. Could also use it to get from LVCC to Strip quickly (quicker than CES shuttles, Bing shuttles, or taxi). Was fast too the airport as well. The route seems effcient and there are not too many stops so things move fast. They also have some dedicated lanes in the DT area. Overall great service, didn't even use the Duece once last trip!

keno
02-14-2011, 02:47 PM
I didn't even know this existed! I'm taking the WAX from the airport to NYNY when I stay in March. The bus stop is AT the NYNY... and that's a win right away, no cabbie, only a couple of bucks for the trip? sounds perfect!

Joe
02-14-2011, 02:53 PM
Yes it sounds good but if you miss the WAX and take the 108/109 and end up at the BTC, you can't connect any further north (downtown)?

I'm just trying to find an answer to that for my brothers. I don't want them walking and hauling luggage for that distance, in that neighborhood.

doctor_al
02-14-2011, 02:58 PM
quick check of google maps shows the 208 and 214 going from the BTC into downtown.

Joe
02-14-2011, 03:02 PM
Thanks, Doc Al:nworthy:

Jimbo338
02-14-2011, 04:50 PM
I believe that both the DEUCE and the DowntownStripExpress stop at the transit center before and coming from downtown.

Jimbo338

robert m.
02-22-2011, 03:56 PM
Here's my recent experience with the WAX from the airport to downtown:

1. Walked off a SWA flight at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, 2/9/11. Picked up my carryon. No checked luggage.

2. Walked through baggage handling and down the escalator to zero level. Looked slightly to my right and saw people waiting at a bus stop.

3. Joined the small group of people ( 5 or 6 ).

4. It was 8:55. The 109 came, then the 108. Most people boarded those.

5. At precisely 9:00, the WAX pulled up. Right on schedule! Two of us boarded, and there were maybe three people already on board. Inserted two dollar bills into the machine near the driver. The guy behind me dropped coins.

6. There was one stop for passengers on the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. Took about 2 minutes.

7. After that, we got onto I-15N. Flew like a bird!

8. Took an exit for the downtown area, and kind of circled around by some kind of discount malls and some modernistic buildings.

9. The bus stopped at the Bonneville Transit Center. It was about 9:20. I got out with my carryon and went inside to get a senior citizen ID card. Those people were nice! Got the ID for free. I'm 60. Looks like a driver's license. Expires in 2016. The nice lady even came out from behind the counter and showed how to insert it into the TVM ( ticket vending machine ) so that I could get the 1/2 price tickets.

10. Then I walked the approximately five blocks down Casino Center Boulevard to Fremont. I had been reading various opinions on this board about whether that is a safe area to walk. Now, remember, it was about 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, not the middle of the night. But, I kind of had to laugh as I was walking toward Fremont because most of the ladies and gentlemen who I passed were much better dressed than I was. They looked like workers in the law offices or government buildings. They may have been concerned about me. Haha!

In conclusion, it was the fastest, safest $2 journey that I have ever had in Las Vegas!

Just remember to check the times. It usually departs McCarran on the hour, but you can find the schedule online. I did not take the Wax back to the airport because I left the Gold Coast the next Tuesday morning enroute to the airport. Took a cab. Cost about $20, including the tip.

Jimbo338
02-22-2011, 05:50 PM
The WAX is too good to be true! I had a difficult trip to LV yesterday (monday) and to top it off I left an hour late due to the plane being deiced but because I had to get out of line at the curbside (left my laptop on the shuttle from the parking lot) and they marked my bags "late checkin" so I arrived in LV at 11:40am and the bag arrived sometime after 2:30.
After not finding the bag at the caruosel I checked with SWA and they told me the bag would be late and they can deliver it for $21. I said that I'd come back for it.
I walked down to ground zero. Just go out the doors and walk to the right.The last bus station is marked #23 but the CAT buses use the next one which is #24 but not marked. It is near the entrance ramp to I-15 and goes upgrade. There is a ticket machine there but the WAX takes exact fare and sells 2hr and 24 hour passes. The ticket machine here does not sell reduced fare tickets. As posted above there were half a dozen people waiting there, most of whom boarded the 108 and 109. 2 of us boarded with our luggage (my laptop and carry on). Buses arrive on the hour.l got off at 4th st where the Deuce stops northbound.Trip time was 30 minutes! How great it this fellow frugal friends? longest wait would be 60 minutes. Cost is 2.00 (less if you're old); trip downtown is about 30 minutes, buses are new and clean, not crowded, plenty of time to board, luggage is welcome and you don't have to tip.
I took the bus back (to get my freakin bag!) and you catch it at the bus stop that also serves the Strip and Downtown Express, and Centennial Express at the side of Binions on Casino Station road and Fremont. WAX starts running southbound on the hour at 9AM. Trip to the airport also was uncrowded and took 30 minutes.

BTW, you can grab the downtown and strip express bus here and ride it to the LV Convention Center. It stops at the Strat, the rear of the Sahara and then at the north end of the LVCC just after Convention Center Drive. You must purchase your ticket before boarding.
The new buses are GREAT for scheduling, comfort and convenience tho I still miss the old downtown transit center! I haven't been to the BTC yet but want to go to buy a schedule book for reference. Thank goodness for our forum and Dewey, Turtleman and you guys for all the information. If you thought visitors were confused before about the Deuce and other buses, you ought to see them now! I will try and make more observations and post them here for those who have not yet experienced the changes.

Jimbo338

Viva Las Vegas
02-22-2011, 08:04 PM
A few thoughts:

1. The ticket machine at the McCarran "ground zero" bus stop sells the 2 hour $3 and $5 24 hour residential pass options. Unfortunately, you cannot by the "all access" passes ($7 or $20 for 1/3 days) which includes the Deuce and Strip Express (SDX). The WAX requires a regular fare charge, not the extra Deuce / SDX surcharge.

2. Ask airport information / employees where to go for ground zero. There are escalators and a set of elevators on the far east side of the terminals. You need to go one level below the bag claim floor. The bus station is 1/3 block east (to the right of the exit - look for a covered area to the right of the tour / hotel shuttle buses).

3. Chef - The 108 / 109 run approx every 20-30 so you will save time vs. waiting for the WAX. I wish they would increase WAX service to every half hour but the buses I've been on the past few trips had few passengers.

You have two options from DTC to Downtown - a five block walk or transfer to Deuce/SDX. The walk is fine for most people during the day (I would have no problem at any time). You can pay $2 for the WAX and buy a fare or 1/3 day pass at DTC to switch to the one of five options (Deuce - $1 upcharge, SDX which requires a new pre-board fare, or the Max/113 or 215 w/ regular fare pass) to take you the rest of the way if you have lots of bags / don't feel like walking. Robert M's detailed description of the area is spot on though the area will be somewhat empty during the weekend.

4. The WAX is excellent for South Strip travelers (catch it on the NYNY side of Tropicana) to downtown. You'll reach downtown 1/2 hour + quicker vs. taking the Deuce and about 15 minutes vs. SDX. The 108 is perfect for the Hilton, Sahara and Stratosphere.

WAX for Downtown or Suncoast if you have a 1/2 hour or less wait, otherwise jump on the next 108/109 and transfer at DTC - you'll likely want an all access pass for the rest of your stay (1 or 3 days).

keno
02-22-2011, 08:34 PM
I'm a bit confused by some of the posts, so I'll ask for some clarification.

According the the schedule online, it appears that the WAX will drop you off downtown, just off of Fremont street, near Binions. Is this correct? It appears that way on the map, but people have been saying they go down to the BTC, but I'd have no reason to go to BTC if the WAX goes directly from the airport to Binions.

Is there actually a stop right there and I'm just not reading everyone's posts correctly? and is the stop also right there near binions for the trip towards the airport?

jawandtsmommy
02-22-2011, 09:19 PM
So if I am reading the route map correct I can get on at McCarran and get off at the first stop at New York New York If I take the Northbound/Westbound Route.

Viva Las Vegas
02-22-2011, 09:27 PM
I'm a bit confused by some of the posts, so I'll ask for some clarification.

According the the schedule online, it appears that the WAX will drop you off downtown, just off of Fremont street, near Binions. Is this correct? It appears that way on the map, but people have been saying they go down to the BTC, but I'd have no reason to go to BTC if the WAX goes directly from the airport to Binions.

Is there actually a stop right there and I'm just not reading everyone's posts correctly? and is the stop also right there near binions for the trip towards the airport?

The WAX stops directly downtown both coming from the airport (4th & Fremont - Near Fitzgeralds) and going (Casino Center and Fremont - just outside of Binion's). They share the same downtown stops with the SDX (Strip Express).

The 108 / 109 do not which is the reason for the discussion for completing trips taken on these more frequently run routes. Hope that helps.

jawandtsmommy - you are correct. NYNY corner of Tropicana Ave. is the first stop traveling from the airport. On the return trip to the airport, you can catch the WAX on Tropicana Ave just outside the Tropicana Casino. $2 each ride, no tip, no tunnel. :)

jawandtsmommy
02-22-2011, 09:35 PM
Viva - think I love you. You just made my night by confirming that. No arguing with a cabbie and NO TUNNEL!!!!!!

dewey089
02-23-2011, 04:45 AM
Thanks for mentioning my name, Jimbo, but it will be a long while before I know anything about these new buses. I appreciate the information posted by all here, but I am brand new now to buses and just have questions:

I am reading that the WAX is classified as a residential bus and so it is not grouped with the DEUCE OR SDX. In recent times a residential bus pass was also good on the SDX. We did not have to buy a new ticket, and there was no one there to collect a surcharge. It was an unadvertised glitch in the system. Is that still the case?
If I board a Deuce with the residential pass, are the drivers collecting that extra dollar mentioned by one poster? That was not the experience of many passengers. The surcharge was dropped. It was a deal technically for those with local ID's, but actually no one checks for that ID. Or am I wrong?

If I board the WAX at the airport with a senior identification card, I gather I can't get a reduced ticket in the machine.
Does the WAX driver sell me a ticket? Will he sell a 24 hour pass? Will he sell me a 3 day pass? Do I pay the residential price?

If I board the WAX at Tropicana, are they looking just for a residential pass?

I'd like information from those who have actually traveled having first purchased a residential pass. Is there any bus you can't take using that pass? Has anyone had to rebuy a full ticket for the upgraded buses?

This trip I come in to the Orleans for my first two nights, so I'm going to get the WAX and get off at Tropicana, and take the 201 to the Orleans. Then I am waiting right there in front of NYNY for the 201 and I am comfortable with that.
Two days later I'll walk Arville to Flamingo and take the 202 to Sam's Town. What senior bus pass would you buy? I think I am stuck with getting two 24 hour passes, but I guess that they will be at the residential rate. However, if there is some way to get a senior residential three day pass, I'd be up for that and have bus flexibility from the Orleans to go wherever I wanted for my first three days in Vegas.

Also, some of the information posted may confuse people with luggage. You cannot take big luggage on the Deuce or the SDX, but you can take it on the WAX. However, you don't want to think you can WAX from the airport to Tropicana and LV Blvd and then take a strip bus to say Harrah's unless your luggage fits easily in your lap and isn't much larger than the shopping bags folks carry.
It is just great to finally have a luggage bus that stops on the strip. More are needed. Many folks who might like bus travel don't want to be far East on Paradise or Maryland with a huge suitcase and waiting for the second bus to take them down Tropicana or Flamingo or whatever, having accessed them from the 108 or 109. Those places are probably safe, but it is not as comfortable as getting on at the airport and off at the strip or Freemont experience. I am getting older now and more conscious that I am easy target for theft.
And I feel the same about that walk from the BTC. If I am rolling my huge suitcase, I am a target for anyone down and out who thinks my stuff might be good for a few bucks. I don't like that stretch of neighborhood. I'd rather bet on the 113 and be dropped right at Walgreen's where I do feel safe.

Kape
02-23-2011, 08:46 AM
How difficult is it to get to the WAX bus stop if you fly into terminal 2?

robert m.
02-23-2011, 11:02 AM
Kape, you have a very interesting question about how difficult it is to get to the WAX bus stop if you are flying into terminal 2. The only thing that I am certain of is that the WAX has only one stop at McCarran, and that is on the zero level, just below the Terminal 1 baggage claim area.

I did pull up a map of McCarran on the computer. If I am reading it correctly, Terminal 2 has its own baggage claim and ground transportation access area. I did not see a tram or even a walkway connection between the two terminals. I have never been to Terminal 2.

Can somebody else weigh in on this?

Thanks

Jimbo338
02-23-2011, 04:53 PM
Dewey, I cannot answer a lot of your questions because I have never bought a residential bus pass. I always buy the all access passes since it is one less thing to worry about and I don't think the difference in price is worth the hassle.
The ticket machine at the airport is right at terminal #24 (unmarked but look for #23 and it is next). It does not offer reduced fare passes but the driver will honor your reduced fare card for the ride, a two hour pass or a 24 hour pass ( I don't know aabout residential passes). I showed my ID and purched an all access 24 hour pass for 2.00. I don't know why $2.00 but asked the next bus driver if it was an all access pass and he said yes.

Last night I took the 107 from the BTC and driver told me he stops at 7th street near EC but I got off closer to Fremont St and went to have dinner at the Californial

Jimbo338

dewey089
02-23-2011, 05:03 PM
Thanks Jimbo. I did not like the 107 drop off near the EC. It was a couple blocks I did not want to walk with my luggage. I wonder where you got off. I would rather walk from the Walgreen's ( most times I want to get some room snacks anyway) that be South of the El Cortez.

Help me read this and match it to your experience:

http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/fare_passes.cfm

I think that means you are buying a residential 24 hour pass when you pay $2. And I think they work just as well.
It is just a dollar and a half difference in price, but look at the difference in 3 day passes. That is $10. My guess is that if your board first on the Deuce it costs you $3.50 for 24 hours, but when you board first on the residential route, it costs $2.

Viva Las Vegas
02-23-2011, 07:13 PM
Kape, you have a very interesting question about how difficult it is to get to the WAX bus stop if you are flying into terminal 2. The only thing that I am certain of is that the WAX has only one stop at McCarran, and that is on the zero level, just below the Terminal 1 baggage claim area.

I did pull up a map of McCarran on the computer. If I am reading it correctly, Terminal 2 has its own baggage claim and ground transportation access area. I did not see a tram or even a walkway connection between the two terminals. I have never been to Terminal 2.

Can somebody else weigh in on this?

Thanks

All RTC buses serving the airport (WAX, 108 and 109) and most hotel shuttles pick up passengers on "Zero Level" below Terminal 1.

Teminal 2 Shuttle (http://www.mccarran.com/03_Shuttles_01.aspx?p=3)
Free shuttle bus service between Terminal 1 and 2 is available during all hours of flight operations at Terminal 2. The bus stop at Terminal 1 is located on the Zero Level below baggage claim. At Terminal 2, the bus stop is located directly in front of the ticketing lobby entrance.

Service is provided approximately every 12-15 minutes.

robert m.
02-24-2011, 04:39 AM
Thanks, Viva. That is the answer, then. Take the shuttle from terminal 1 to terminal 2. Thanks again!

Jimbo338
02-26-2011, 07:18 AM
[QUOTE=dewey089;481008]Thanks Jimbo. I did not like the 107 drop off near the EC. It was a couple blocks I did not want to walk with my luggage. I wonder where you got off. I would rather walk from the Walgreen's ( most times I want to get some room snacks anyway) that be South of the El Cortez.

Help me read this and match it to your experience:

[QUOTE]

The link didn't open up anything that seemed to apply. I boarded the Strip and Downtown express yesterday and followed the 107 out of the BTC. The stop where I exited was Carsen and 3rd street. I crossed and walked up by the parking garage I think.

There still are a lot of glitches in the new schedules and system but I think there are a lot of improvements. The Deuce is the worst I have ever seen though, perhaps cause people are sticking to the familiar. I spent a couple of hours trying to go from the LVCC to downtown including having to wait for a 5th Deuce with room to board. More later. Prices on passes varies; I was surprised. A full price 3 day pass at the LVC was $20; it was $15 at BTC and the 5 day unavailable at many machines was $20 which cost me $10 with my reduced fare card. Many machines don't take cash, just credit or debit cards. I am talking about all access cards. When i return I will give a summary of my observations.

Jimbo338

Clarkson7
02-26-2011, 06:17 PM
I returned yesterday after staying 3 days at the Fremont Hotel and 2 days at the Fitz. Anyway, I took the WAX from LAS ( $1 charge--showed senior pass). It took about 30 minutes to get to the Downtown stop near Walgreens. There were about 7 or 8 people on the bus--it was quick and a great deal IMO. I did email the RTC about walking from the Fitz to the new Downtown center to get to LAS at 4:00 a.m. Their response was negative; they did not advise walking that area at that hour.

dewey089
02-27-2011, 07:14 AM
From studying the map at RTC I think the 208 picks up at the stop between Main Street and the Plaza and delivers you to the BTC in 8 minutes.
Great stuff on the WAX. Most of my questions on that line are answered.
I'm going to post a new thread with some bus questions and see if we can get a local experienced traveler to throw in some information.

Clarkson7
02-27-2011, 06:18 PM
I look forward to the bus information that you will be posting. I need to get the bus stops, connections, etc clear(er)--there have been a lot of changes in the past year.

pdog89149
02-27-2011, 08:04 PM
The system map that the RTC puts out on their website is pretty detailed for the downtown area. It shows an inset of all the routes that traverse through there. They don't show exact stops but typical bus stop spacing is about every 1/4 mile or so.

dewey089
02-28-2011, 03:08 AM
I am happy to see you here Pdog as your comments have been incredibly valuable in the past.
Map reading may be easy for some. It is not so easy for me.
I also think the maps work better for those who know the area already and can see the geography of the routes.
The maps are not enough for tourists. They give just an overview. The detailed trip information adds some useful data, like how long the ride it, how many stops, and exactly the name of the Crossstreet where we should exit a ride. But the devils in these bus trips are in the details.

I am much more comfortable with some anecdotal information. Most tourists don't travel everywhere. We have a few routes and want to know how those work and feel, so we don't need every bit of detailed data on every route, but we do need it on our particular routes of interest.

We also travel the buses during late night and morning hours and/or with luggage, so we are more likely targets for crime if we get in the wrong couple blocks. When he don't know what street smarts would tell us if we could physically be there, or experience a place a few times, we won't risk the bus at all.

For example, I know the 202 used to stop right at the Eastside Cannery and the walk from there to the EC parking lot at 3 am seemed very safe and easy when I saw that. Now things are modified, I'd like to know if I'm going to want to walk from the stop solo at 3 am on the way back from the strip and to add to the confusion, now there are actually two loops to consider because the route loops change from time to time.
One looks easy access to Sam's Town. Perhaps the other is also. One looks like it leaves a rather lonely walk by the RV park to Eastside Cannery, during K times. But I can't tell really.

Or, I'd like to know exactly where that 208 stop bringing me out to the BTC is located. I know the stop between the Plaza and Main Street Station. I know when I'd like to be there and when I'd walk the length of Freemont to be at a more crowded stop.

Last November was my last trip to Vegas. Just after the BTC changed routes.
I had a bad cold.
I was tired.

I took the 202 from the Gold Coast and asked the driver (108 or 109) if the bus looped down near Freemont as I had heard it had done a week before. He thought it did not. But he did not know for sure. He was driving with a paper book of routes in his hand, and said he was new to the trip and my question seemed to rattle him.
It went to the BTC without passing through downtown casino areas. I asked them there what route got me close to the El Cortez.
Wrong question.
They put me on the 107 which wound about in such a confusion of turns that I could not figure out where I was. I had asked that driver where I could exit that was close to the El Cortez, but he forgot me, I think. Luckily, I did exit nearby, but the couple blocks walk with my large suitcase made me feel,even midday, like a walking target for any down and out who wanted an easy couple bucks. The down and outs were there.
Had I known to take the 113 or MAX to Walgreen's, I'd have avoided that anxiety. I'd have had a longer walk to the El Cortez, but one I feel comfortable with, where there is constant security.

There is thread after thread here on how comfortable it is to walk from Walgreen's to the El Cortez and whether to go down Freemont where there used to be too many street people, or take the new EC entrance where there now are usually no people at all.
There are threads about walking to that bus stop near MSS in front of the trains and walking to MSS itself. Folks suggest the route through the California. There is debate too about the walk from the Gold Spike down to the MSS, when or when not to take it and when to go a bit out of the way and go through EC to Freemont. Different people will make different conclusions.

I'm looking ( on the other thread http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63152) (http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63152) for that kind of exchange of idea on bus as well as walking routes, an exchange where we get people's impressions and observations of taking the bus in Vegas along common routes.
This WAX thread gives that kind of detail for that new route. Frankly without that information, I'd have skipped the bus next trip and just taken a shuttle from the airport to the Orleans. Later I'd have probably just done the three bus (Flamingo, 108, 113) shuffle from Rio to downtown with luggage that I did last trip.

Now I'll make my way to the WAX Tropicana stop on Tropicana to avoid three buses and to avoid waiting with my large suitcase on Swenson or Maryland stops.
I'm even thinking of trying the SDX with luggage and riding just one stop. If I get on the back and the driver decides I have too much luggage, or an inspector decides it (it is up to the driver's discretion) well...... they can put me off at Tropicana and I'll be where I want to be anyway.

That is another thing that the maps or the travel google directions don't help with. Luggage. How does one move from one place to another with luggage? It is not easy in Vegas.
Residential routes allow it, but they are harder to group together now than they used to be. WAX gives some flexibility.

So what I would like to see is a resource like we get for restaurants. We can look up a list of restaurants for any area and map out possibilities ourselves. But a detailed review, or perhaps a dozen of them, more likely tells us where we want to eat or where we don't.
Such reviews on buses would help us know more than the maps and the schedules in deciding where or if we want to ride.

Clarkson7: I'm not posting much of anything, because I know next to nothing now. I'm asking others to post who have ridden or experienced routes and areas. All I know is what I read on the Messageboard.

doctor_al
02-28-2011, 08:01 AM
OK, once again people need to learn to use google maps for the bus routes in Las Vegas. It's amazingly useful, showing not only routes but times and where the stops are (if you're zoomed in enough).

Go to maps.google.com
type in Las Vegas, NV
zoom in a bit
right click on where you're starting and select "directions from"
right click on where you want to go and select "directions to"
in the left hand panel click on the bus icon

I used this to map out a trip from downtown to Springs Preserve, and from downtown to Ballys. It was accurate and showed all the stops.

dewey089
02-28-2011, 08:44 AM
I am not suggesting map reading is not a useful skill.
I don't think we all do it with the same map reading literacy.
And it will not answer some questions.

Take your route from downtown to Bally's. I'll bet I can't take my luggage along what you mapped out. Then I need to know how to get from downtown to the BTC first with luggage and take two more buses from there.
(Pdog posted a complete list of that information on the other thread. His reading of the maps and explanations were very useful. His advice was useful.)

Take the stop you waited at to get back from the Spring Preserve. Google won't tell you what the neighborhood is like. I like when folks evaluate the neighborhood where I may have to stand for twenty minutes.

I'm sure on my last trip that the goggle map might have given me 107 as a route from the BTC to the El Cortez, but not included information on how safe I felt walking after the bus dropped me off. I might have gotten that here.

I can tell you I feel safe walking a half hour from Orleans along Arville to Flamingo with my luggage in the daytime and that solved a huge problem of getting from there to the Gold Coast, to the Super 8, to Sam's Town. In my walks I have yet to see an Arville bus pass me, so I have saved time as well as gotten some good exercise.

Anecdotally I can tell you there were easy sidewalks for rolling luggage all the way and no street people. I can add that I can do my laundry along that route.

I wish someone would give me some anecdotal information on doing my laundry while staying at Sam's Town. I've charted out all the places I can find (although some of those from the internet have closed since they were posted there) but I'd sure like someone to say, "Yeah, I stayed at Sam's and here is how I accessed the nearest laundromat..... here is the bus I took.... here is the stop where I exited.... and this is what it was like doing laundry.

If any of us have done something already that can help someone beyond the map, or someone who might not read maps well, I think that is valuable.

doctor_al
02-28-2011, 09:09 AM
Take your route from downtown to Bally's. I'll bet I can't take my luggage along what you mapped out.

Depends how much luggage. Yes, the SDX is less luggage-friendly than the WAX (and on the Deuce, forget it), but the point of that trip was moving from one hotel to the next... with my carry-on (all I travel with). Anything beyond a carry-on is going to be difficult on virtually all city buses except the WAX.

Your points on neighborhoods, etc are very valid.

Jimbo338
02-28-2011, 09:58 AM
I have tried Google maps and found it pretty confusing. I prefer looking at a paper map (I am more of a graphic person). Like the RTC maps, major stops are listed......the ones with major transfers and stations with seats and ticket machines. The useful ones might be the ones with just a sign on a light post with the route #. I never liked map quest and similar helps.....good if you know the area. In Houston, I did well until we got off at the proper exit and yu get the expert net advice to take a "slight left in .1 miles". Well there were 3 lefts at .1 mile and all were slight.

In Boston, they direct you south on I495, which will cause you to miss the commuter traffic. that is fine but I95 during non-commuter times will be just fine. One does not know that when using online aids to travel.

Jimbo338

doctor_al
02-28-2011, 10:42 AM
Right with you on mapquest driving directions, but in this case, the RTC points their own trip planner to google maps, so they're likely collaborating on this.


To help plan your next transit ride use our Transit Trip Planner, powered by Google.

http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/index.cfm

dewey089
02-28-2011, 11:30 AM
Depends how much luggage. Yes, the SDX is less luggage-friendly than the WAX (and on the Deuce, forget it), but the point of that trip was moving from one hotel to the next... with my carry-on (all I travel with). Anything beyond a carry-on is going to be difficult on virtually all city buses except the WAX.

Your points on neighborhoods, etc are very valid.

Actually, luggage is very easy on all the residential buses and hard on the Deuce and the SDX, but thanks for rating the SDX as more "luggage friendly."
I have been wondering about that. The RTC just said it was up to the discretion of the driver.
I see plenty of folks on the SDX with many shopping bags full and much larger stuff to carry than carry ons. I'll see what happens in May with my huge suitcase when I try to go from Bellagio to Tropicana to catch the WAX for downtown. It will still take me three buses from the Rio, but I won't be waiting anywhere off the strip like I would if I took 202-108-113.
The RTC told me of no restrictions on residential buses.
I also saw a guy board the MAX with a huge collection of luggage. So that would be fine too. That is one way to get from the BTC to downtown.

You have good bus flexibility because you only take a carry on. If you have the SDX, well that gets you anywhere. The SDX is a pretty easy route to follow with stops in areas we tourists already know, but as you say, I can't count on it. It is not as easy as the residential bus routes.

A carryon is not enough for me.

I can't go to Vegas for 17 nights without a large suitcase and even then I must do laundry once. I carry the largest the airlines will accept, and I pack it up to 50 pounds for the plane and leave the other space for my sleep apnea machine and my computer and my airplane small carry on. so while bus hopping I have one single suitcase.
So I travel buses with a suitcase that is about 85 pounds and huge.
At first I was a bit apprehensive, but bus officials on both the 108 and the 109 reassured me it was no trouble and the RTC told me there were no restrictions on a reasonable amount of luggage on the residential buses. One suitcase is reasonable except on the Deuce and maybe not on the SDX.
Most residential buses carry young mothers with bulky strollers and handicapped folks with wheelchairs. they are used to more than just bodies. They have room for a suitcase. Boarding too is pretty simple.

Traveling the 202 is very easy with luggage. I have done it half a dozen times. The only time I was ever instructed about anything by a driver was when he was picking up a wheel chaired rider and needed my space. He was friendly and there was no suggestion I was out of line bringing my large suitcase.
My son went from MGM from the Orleans on the 201 with very little difficulty using the last of a 24 hour pass he had bought the day before. He had much more than a carryon. I think he had two suitcases.
I'll take the 201 in May (after I take the WAX) to get from Tropicana to the Orleans. I like not having to wait way out East on Tropicana. Nothing has ever happened to me there, even after dark, but I hate being so vulnerable with my huge suitcase.

My suitcase was fine on the 107 as well. I just did not like to stop south of El Cortez. I could go from the BTC out Boulder with my big suitcase on the 107 and so move from a downtown hotel to Boulder, now that I have Pdog's great advice on how to get from Downtown to the BTC.

But since the new bus schedules and the new BTC, it generally takes three buses to get from any place along Flamingo to downtown, my usual trip. It used to take one or at most two. Just a few years ago, I could take a bus back from Laughlin, get dropped at Terribles, walk up to Swenson, and be downtown with just one city bus.
Before schedule changes we could put our luggage on the 108 at the stop in front of the old trains near MSS and go directly to the airport. Then we did not even have to negotiate suitcases around the sleeping homeless in the DTC.

Now things are changed. And it is hard to figure just how they are changed. So knowledgeable locals like Pdog who are experienced bus riders and know the routes and the numbers and the stops are very useful. They open up more possibilities and give us more flexible planning of free nights and hotels for coming trips.