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RTC Buses

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Jimbo338, Sep 28, 2012.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Well, here we are at the end of September,what is the latest on the changes for bus fares, passes and reduced fare ID's.

    Just what good are our reduced passes if you have to be a local resident to use it. When they advertised and I had my picture taken and was issued a pass, they knew where I was from. Are we to be thrown to the wolves? Anything new Dewey?

    jimbo338 (Old and from NH)
     
  2. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Who cares, they're not going to ask for an ID.
     
  3. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I am waiting for other board members who are going in October and will ask at the BTC person to person to report back on the new rules.
    We should have a bit more information by mid October.
     
  4. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I read their Fare info stuff today. They have a residential pass for locals, and they can use it on the SDX by showing a local ID. We cannot use one for the SDX or Deuce unless we buy an all access pass which they list as the 3 day or 3o day pass and show a reduced fare pass.

    Then you look up reduced fare pass they say you have to show an idea issued by the DMV, and no where does it say the Nevada DMV, so my understanding is that you can still get a reduced fare pass, and buy the 3 day or 30 day pass and use it on both residential and the DEUCE and SDX. Looks like the 30 day pass at 32.50 best if you are staying over a week. I have my 5 day pass so if I can use it and buy a 3 day, I should be ok. Anyway, this is how I interpret what I read but will appreciate some input from those heading there in Oct.

    Jimbo338
     
  5. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    I hope to give you all some info. when I come back leaving Sun. returning Friday. I will be attempting to use the 24 hour reduced pass on residential routes and the Strip. I used to buy the 5 day pass.
     
  6. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    My goal is to give them less money than the 5 day pass. I wrote them and suggested that they raise the price of the 5 day pass but keep it.:nono:
     
  7. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Empty barrels make the most noise.
     
  8. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Let's try just to address these bus questions without personal attacks.

    Helpful is to define them clearly and understand that we will disagree on which questions matter to us.

    The first set of questions have to do with the rules and rates and regulations. Basically, those of us asking these questions are asking what is the law of the RTC. The questions include defining the existing kinds of passes, the prices, the senior discounts, and what types of travel the passes allow. Normally, such questions are easily answered, but this has never been true for the RTC. Answers by phone and email contradict each other. Answers in the printed book or on Facebook or via email have been incorrect. Answers given directly in person at the BTC, if we get a clerk who knows the rules and if we remember to ask all the nuances, have been the most definitive.
    There are as many as three people who have agreed to ask for clarification in rules and rates in person in the month of October. This is the set of questions that matter most to me because most people new to the buses want to know what the rules are rather than how to break them with impunity, and those are the folks I work to advise.

    The answers to these questions have tended to be hard to nail down in the past. The printed books have been wrong or changed quickly after publication. The on line charts have been wrong and stayed wrong over the course of a year. The phone and email answers have been full of contradictions.
    To nail down definitive answers I suggest face to face personal questioning of RTC clerks who actually know the new rules and can speak intelligently about them. I suggest that it helps to tell the person that you are going to write these up for a few hundred readers on a discussion board and on a bus blog, and I suggest you take the names of the people you talk to. My past experience is that Christine at the BTC was just wonderful, while other clerks have run the gamut between uncertainty, confusion, apathy and functional brain impairment.
    Also be prepared for changes during the year and for another set of rate and rule changes to define again next year at about this time.


    This is also true for changes in routes and schedules. I still feel bad about going to Vegas one November, telling someone at a bus stop that the Deuce no longer goes downtown, but Deuce route had been changed as I was on the airplane coming to Vegas.

    Change is common in Vegas and the RTC is no exception. Confusion is more common at the RTC than any other Vegas organization I know.

    The second set of questions have to do with enforcement.
    What rules will be enforced by drivers and what will be ignored?
    There is no way to nail down anything definitive for this category of rules.

    For example, Keno60 is going to take a residential 24 hour pass and use it on the strip buses. This is clearly against the rules for tourists and has been against them. He expects that he won't be asked for a local ID as Merlin insists has been the practice. If Keno60 manages this half a dozen times while he is on this October trip and does not get caught, perhaps he'll suggest what Merlin suggests, that breaking the rule about having a local ID is fine because the drivers don't ask.
    Whether they ever ask can't be answered.
    Whether they will start asking as more and more people decide to break the rules will continue to be unknown.

    A third set of rules is what are the penalties for breaking rules. If it is being asked to leave the bus, perhaps for some that is a mild penalty and they will just risk it. If it is a hefty fine, that may discourage rule breakers.

    I will know less about the last two sets of questions than other posters, because generally I like to define the rules and follow them, and always I like to give advice that reflects a clear understanding of the rules, offers that clarification so difficult to nail down, and insures with certainty that I am not giving advice that will cause anyone inconvenience or legal difficulties.
    I won't be suggesting illegitimate behavior, but I wish the miscreants of bus riding successful journeys.

    We do know this much:
    On September 30, the 5 day passes are no longer available.
    There will be 15 day passes and 30 day passes on residential routes.
    Dollar American coins are fine in the fare boxes. They are officially allowed and they work.
    Locals can use any residential pass ie, 24hour, 15 or 30 day passes, on strip buses by showing a local ID, and can get reduced fare by showing a reduced fare ID issued by the RTC.
    24 hour residential passes are sold on residential buses when we board.
    15 and 30 day passes will be sold at the BTC, the SSTT, and a whole list of Vendor's around Vegas ( 7/11 stores, Walgreens, Albertsons), all of them in local areas away from the strip and intended to be for locals but probably not restricted to their use on residential buses. However, even this question has received contradictory answers from the RTC.
    In strip machines, the higher all access strip bus prices will be charged for 24hour passes or 3 day passes. These are good on residential buses as well without question. No senior discounts are available in these machines. Senior discounts are only available on 24 hour passes sold by drivers, or 15 and 30 day passes sold at the transfer stations or by Vendors. Note that the difference in price is huge for tourist seniors. A local senior can buy a 30 day pass at a local vendor for $32.50. 30 days of riding the bus using 3 day all access passes would cost $200.

    Those of us who want to clarify the rules need to know this:
    Are 15 or 30 day passes good for tourists on the strip buses (Deuce/SDX)?
    Are tourists still able to use the senior ID to get a discount on 15 and 30 day passes and are these good on residential buses without local ID?


    Those of us who want to break the rules might want to ask?
    Will bus drivers actually ask for a local ID ever?
    What is the penalty for not having a local ID if asked by a driver?

    **************

    Once we know what the rules, regulations, and rates are, we can then devise strategies that will work within the rules, and some of you can devise strategies for criminal behavior.
    These strategies will include:

    How can residential bus routes serve us best?
    What free shuttles and trams can be pasted together with residential bus routes to make for frugal travel around the city?
    When do paid shuttles, cabs, limos, rental etc make more financial sense than the buses, and what added benefits in comfort and convenience or risks come with each separate form of transporation?

    One new strategy:
    Those of us in Vegas for longer than 31 consecutive days, who have a local address during that time, may be able to get a seasonal local ID from the DMV for as little as $6(senior rate.) I'll know more about that over the course of this year. Right now it looks like these ID's require a proof of identity (passport/birth certificate) and some other paperwork, a local address, a willingness to wait a long while at a busy DMV while a photo is taken, after which the local ID is mailed to the local address and only to the local address.
    Perhaps I'll expand my 23 day trips to 31 day trips and stay with one of my relatives during those days. I expect the DMV will be more consistent and clear on the procedures and rules around these local ID's than the RTC. Once again, I am personally more interested in what the rules and regulations are than how they can be broken or what penalties might be incurred by breaking them.

    We can keep talking about all this, but I'd suggest we simply wait a month and see what we find out.
    Thanks to all of you who have agreed to report what you hear from face to face questioning sessions.
    If you find clarification, could you post those on a new and separate thread and also give me a heads up via PM, so I don't miss those posts, and so I can ask you via PM any questions that come to my mind when I read your new information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  9. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I stopped reading half way through your response Dewey, but if they ask for ID(which they wont), say you dont have one.

    Any of you guys actually ride these buses, people swipe their cards, and it beeps,...and the driver just sits there. And if it doesn't beep, they say do it again, and I've seen people swipe 4 or 5 times and the driver just waves them by, not every time, but quite a bit.

    Of all the things to worry about when going to vegas, getting busted for trying to use a valid pass that you really bought, without a local ID is not one of them.
     
  10. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Merlin describes the pattern of riding the Deuce, but not the SDX. You simply board the SDX with the pass ready to show an inspector. Many times you never show it to anyone. If an inspector boards the bus, you show the pass. The inspector will check to see that you have validated the pass you bought before you boarded bus, and if you haven't, you'll be asked to leave the bus and validate it and then reboard that bus or if you can't validate quickly, reboard the next bus. This can be a sketchy bother if you have to leave the bus half way between the strip and downtown in the sketchy part of town, especially if you have to leave the bus late at night.
    That happened to another board member Weas, who wrote her experience on another bus thread.

    Weas wrote on that thread:
    ************

    If you paid a reduced senior, youth or disabled fare, your pass requires a senior ID. The inspector may ask for that as well and if you don't have one, ask you to buy a full fare. I have seen that happen. I pass a senior rate and have been asked for my senior ID on the Deuce and the 202 by the driver even when I had 80 pounds of luggage to juggle while I got into my wallet.
    In one conversation with RTC a clerk told me that they had too many people coming from the airport boarding the WAX and then using the residential pass to board a strip bus at Tropicana and that was one reason for installing a machine at the airport that issued "all access" passes. It seems to me that to know those folks were tourists, a Deuce driver or an SDX inspector must have asked for a local ID.
    On the other hand Jimbo has had the WAX driver tell him that his senior rate residential 24 hour pass was an all access pass. Of course, that driver was not going to be the same driver who took him on the strip bus.

    Riding in rush hour the drivers may take less time to check passes. I have seen them wave everyone aboard and look at nothing. A buddy was checked in an elbow room only SDX bus and the inspector just asked everyone to hold the passes up above their heads.
    It is not much different than speeding. Most of the time, there is no policeman and sometimes we can speed by the policeman and he does not follow us, and sometimes he does not apply the law but gives a warning and a lecture.
    I have heard reports of folks with residential 24 hour passes being lectured by Deuce drivers about the pass not being valid on the Deuce bus.

    Also, the last time new rules were implemented, drivers and inspectors were asked by the bus company as policy in the beginning of a new regulation period to simply educate bus riders and not impose the rules, so those who did not have the right passes or boarded the SDX with no pass at all were simply lectured and neither asked to leave the bus nor fined. Since then I have seen people with no passes asked to leave the bus and the bus company assured me there had been fines implemented although fiinding out the extent of that enforcement would mean a good bit of time running down the public records and pouring through them, more reading than I am willing to do.

    I think the question of enforcement is very hard to pin down. The question of what the rules are should be easier than it is, but it just takes more time and more folks asking questions and reporting answers and, yes, probably more reading rather than less.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  11. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Sorry, not to have responded to this directly.
    You have the senior photo ID, so there will be no trouble with your senior fare. One clerk told me they still honor other city senior bus ID cards and Medicare cards as proof that we are in fact seniors.
    The new chart of the 30 day pass does not say it is all access for everyone but includes it as a residential pass which is all access to locals with a local ID. This is a new and more restrictive classification that may affect me, as I generally buy the 30 day pass and that classification is spelled out that way on their chart of fares
    https://www.facebook.com/rtcsnv/app_4949752878



    Page 6 of the printed guide has little star markings to indicate all access passes. Unlike last year there is no star along side the 30 day pass which is included merely as another sort of residential pass.
    (sorry, neither the stars or the little black arrows would copy and paste here)
    On page 6 of the downloaded guide, it also indicated that a 5 day pass rather than a 15 day pass was being sold. I am sure this is a misprint, and I've added a 1 to make that read a 15 day pass, which I suspect is what they intended. That misprint also explains the confusion in one of my calls where the clerk knew nothing but was just reading the guide as best she could.
    But again, I may have missed a last minute change somewhere.
    Did you encounter language different from that in your reading? Can you direct me to that language and its source?

    I have heard in quite a few places that any 5 day passes purchased before they stopped selling them would be honored and those were always all access for tourists as well as locals with no need for senior ID.(in spite of the misinformation on the old website chart) However, it says on page 6 that passes are invalid a year after they are purchased, so we can't buy up a pile of 5 day passes and expect them to be good for the rest of our lives.
    The three day all access strip pass saves you just $4 over buying three of the 24 hour strip passes. If you need to ride the bus on only two of the three days, it is cheaper to buy 24 hour all access strip passes.

    Residential routes will get you to the strip in two locations. The WAX will get you to Tropicanam and then the free tram at Monte Carlo will get you to Bellagio
    http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/referenceguide-transportationdetail.cfm?transportid=111&map=shuttlemap.cfm?showmap=citycenter.jpg

    There also was a free tram from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, but I don't see it listed currently. I'll have to check and see if that has been shut down or just was left off the list.
    http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/siteimages/citymaps/freetrams.pdf

    Anyone ridden this lately?

    *********

    The Centennial Express will get you to the Fashion Show Mall area. One such trip in the middle of the three days might mean that two 24 hour all access passes would cover three days of travel bringing the cost down from $20 to $17 ( with your senior ID dollar ride in the middle)

    Or a dollar ride from the airport on the WAX without validating your 5 day pass on your first day in Vegas might be enough if you were only going to walk around downtown that first day.

    The Nevada DMV has nothing to do with RTC passes. However, if anyone is elligible for the seasonal local ID that they issue ( must be in Vegas for 31 consecutive days each year and have a local address during those visits) and wants to go through the paperwork to get one, it would be a local ID and make every RTC pass (even 24 hour residential) good on every bus as well as open up the potential for taking advantage of many of the "local only" offers available in Vegas. I talked to locals who periodically get good show deals, even free tickets, just by showing a local ID. Some of those deals appear here
    http://vegas4locals.com/

    DMV offices with bus routes suggested for access (if available):

    department of motor 7170 n. decatur Blvd. no Route
    Vehicles 2701 e. Sahara ave. 110, 111, SX
    8250 w. Flamingo Rd. 202
    1399 american Pacific dr. 115
    4110 donovan way no Route

    I find it a great joke for me to be considering going to a Vegas DMV by bus in order to arrange for a local seasonal ID to help me use my senior discount bus passes on the strip as well as the residential routes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  12. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Dewey: I cannot go into details now because I am on the road stopped at a McDonald's. Before I posted that info I googled the RTC. I got the new fair structure listing prices and it included the 15 day and the 30 day pass. The 30 day pass was $60 ($32.50 with reduced fare card) and it had the little thingie indicating that it was an all access pass. That is why I reported it as such in my post. this was not a link that was posted here but I connected through Google but it was an updated Fare Schedule with that info on it.

    Jimbo338
     
  13. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks Jimbo. If this is the one you found, I just found it too. It is new.

    http://www.rtcsnv.com/transit/fare-information/

    The 15 day pass is not listed as all access, but remember the 5 day was not listed last year and yet it was all access. The folks who talk to the BTC hopefully will pin down the rules on that pass.

    I'm personally pleased. It gives the power to my 30 day pass for certain. Thanks.
     
  14. Eldon

    Eldon Low-Roller

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    Not that it proves anything but:

    Saturday September 29th, I boarded the SDX at Paris and an inspector came on board to check that everyone paid their fare.

    Several were told to get off at next stop due to no tickets.

    She checked the back of my 5Day Reduced Fare Pass to make sure that it hadn't expired, thanked me and moved one.

    The mystery remains.
     
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