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RTC Reduced Bus Fares.

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by waverunner, Feb 12, 2014.

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  1. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Is the Bonneville Transit Center downtown the only place to acquire the reduced card? I qualify to get the card. I plan on using it on Flamingo-Maryland and Tropicana-Decatur.
    Also, can i use the card on the Strip?
    I don't need a pass, i will just pay each way which i believe is $1?
    Thanks.
     
  2. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    The BTC is the only place to get the photo ID card. It takes about 15 minutes and is good for 5 years, so it may be a hassle the first time you get it, but your next trip you can use it right on the WAX at the airport to head downtown or over to Tropicana or Flamingo on 108 or 109 buses or to the SSTT.
    The strip buses do not discount for seniors. However, once you have an ID, you can buy a 15 day pass for all buses for just $17 which is less than a 3 day strip pass for the Deuce and SDX. Do that right at the BTC when you get your ID. You can ride the strip buses with that 15 day pass and the ID to prove you qualify.
    The pass can be purchased in outlying places around Vegas, including near Maryland and Flamingo at Albertson's. It can be purchased at the Walgreen's downtown or in the SSTT machine. But you will need to have the senior ID to buy one in the machine as that is needed to bring up the reduced price menu.
    If you do it per ride, residential buses are $1 one way or $2.50 for a 24 hour pass.
    Locals can use that 24 hour residential pass for riding the Deuce and the SDX. A local ID is required. Since few drivers ask for that ID, some of the folks on this board report using the 24 hour residential pass on strip buses without a problem.
    I'd suggest if you try that, that you only use the Deuce because then you know right away if you are good to go. On the SDX an inspector might ask you to get off the bus in a less than desirable neighborhood.

    Theoretically, trying to use a pass that you know is wrong can result in a fine. I have not heard that happen to any tourist, but it is possible.
    Also, travelers using the WAX from the airport and then catching a strip bus North with luggage have been asked for local proof when boarding.
     
  3. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Dewey: Not to stray too far off topic, but do you know if a Medicare card will substitute for the official reduced fare card? I have one that expires in September, though I don't think a driver has ever looked closely enough to even see (or care) if the photo's mine. I'm guessing I could continue using the same card approximately forever!
     
  4. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    I have read signs that seem to indicate that and I did hear from one rider that just showing their regular ID allowed them to ride.
    However, the advantage of the RTC pass is it can just be flashed at the driver on the way in and does not hold up boarding. I guess you can do that, but others probably should get the card. Also, to buy a pass at
    SSTT you need it to bring up the reduced fare menu. I'm not certain if the date has expired you would get the reduction. Why they bother with expiration is a mystery; we are not suddenly one year going to become 59 again. But then the RTC can be very mysterious. Maybe they anticipate cutting us out altogether from the senior benefits and then just not renewing the cards if that happens. That might be a good reason to get a card now. If the rules changed but they grandfathered in the folks with current cards, we'd be good to go for a while.
    I'm due for a new card next trip as well, but I generally start my trip downtown, so the BTC is very east to access. From that Binions stop, every bus stops there, so there is no waiting. I'll take my chances on the WAX and get settled in downtown, take that short ride out to the BTC and get my 15 or 30 day pass and my new ID.
    Then if sometime I'd like to get a pass up at the SSTT, I'm able to do it.
    If you are asked for ID and use the Medicare card and that works, let me know as I'd like something more definitive than a sign on the bus and a bit of talk from locals. It will be a while until I get to go, but I'll certainly ask at the BTC as I get my ID.
    And for those on this thread who are 60 plus, but not yet ready for Medicare, you qualify for the RTC senior discount and will need the RTC card.
     
  5. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    dewey, thank you for your response.

    I stay at Bally's and will be again in the Spring when i go back. I have no problem catching the downtown bus from Bally's/Paris to the BTC and just paying the bus fare.
    I just turned 60, plus i do have a medicare card because i had a stroke and i can no longer work. The reason why i don't need a pass is because i just need a bus fare to a couple of places off strip to eat like i have done when i had my car (i'm from LA and always drove to Vegas).
    So basically $1 each way would be fine in my case. I usually spend most of my time on the Strip between Wynn and Mandalay Bay and points in between. I always walk, don't need the bus, i can't walk like i used to, but i can still walk, it just takes a little longer.
    If i pay the regular fare on the Downtown bus, can i then get my reduced fare card at BTC and then use it going back to the Strip?......you mentioned the Strip buses don't honor senior cards, but what if i'm partially disabled? Does the reduced card say anything other?
    I don't mind paying full fare to go downtown and back to get the reduced card, i mainly want it to travel on Flamingo Blvd and Tropicana Blvd.
    I may rent a car in Vegas for one day and visit my favorite spot RRC when i go in May (if i'm confident i can drive, haven't driven since the summer of 2011), but i always go to Vegas for a week at a time for 3 weeks per, so having a reduced card for the RTC bus would be nice.
    Like i said, the card will only be used off Strip between Flamingo and Tropicana east/west.
    I will however, travel downtown to get the reduced card as soon as i check in to Bally's. I prefer to eat off strip and have used the shuttle from Bally's to Rio/Gold Coast, but i really prefer places that are not associated with hotels and those places are too far to walk from the Strip.
    One more thing..........is the SDX bus that goes from Bally's/Paris to downtown, $6 for 2 hours meaning $3 each way?
     
  6. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    There is no reduced fare for any reason on the strip buses SDX or Deuce. Everyone pays the same fare unless they have a 15 or 30 day pass when they board.

    I guess you might make the trip to the BTC and back on just one fare of $6, but it is only $8 for 24 hours of strip bus riding and then you are covered if it takes longer than two hours. I'd get the $8 24 hour pass right there in the machine at Paris and be worry free. You'll get the value of it back.
    That 24 hour fare would cover your ride during those 24 hours on all other buses.
    The strip 24 hour pass is also good on residential buses.
    So you could use it to go down Flamingo later that night and eat and come back, saving two senior dollars.
    Or as long as you are at the BTC, you could hop downtown and see what is happening there and then come back from there on a strip bus whenever you wanted.

    Or as long as you are investing in the pass, why not plan that night for a good show in the strip Tropicana area, or use the free tickets in the American Casino Guide for some free comedy at the Riviera. You might as well get as much value as you can from the strip pass on the day you buy it.

    And the next morning you can ride at least one way on Flamingo for brunch if you board the bus before the 24 hours on the pass are up.
    ****************************************************
    ON OTHER DAYS WHEN THE $8 PASS IS USED UP
    For walking on the strip and avoiding the bus, there are some helpful free shuttles. There is one between Bellagio and MonteCarlo called City Center. There was one between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay, but I don't see it listed now. Still, I think it is there.
    So from Bally's to cover all of the South strip with no strip bus, you just have to walk between Monte Carlo and Excalibur.
    Take a look at these maps to see possibilities.
    http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/referenceguide-transportation.cfm?type=Free%20Shuttles

    Or you can take the free Boyd shuttle behind Bally's to the Orleans. We like to do that for the senior benefits on Young at Heart Day (they recently changed the day and rules and I can' find the details, but I think with very little play you could earn a free buffet that day and we often see a cheap movie)
    From the Orleans you could then access the strip at Tropicana, using your ID and a dollar, by taking the 201 bus down Tropicana. Catch it across Tropicana but walk up to the light and then back to the bus stop to be safe. Don't jaywalk!!
    This is a good route if there is a show near Tropicana that night you would like to see.

    And of course, you could take the Tropicana bus from the Orleans out East to where you like to eat.

    Since you like going out around the University campus area to eat, you might check the route of the Centennial Express which weaves around from Downtown to the UNLV campus area, stopping once near the strip at Spring Mountain Road.
    This too is a residential bus where your discount lets you ride for a dollar one way or $3 for 24 hours.
    http://www.rtcsnv.com/wp-content/uploads/routes/2013/CX(07-07-13).pdf

    *************************************************
    Now, after all those options, here is what I would actually do if I were you.


    I'd get settled at Bally's and grab the Bellagio shuttle to Monte Carlo and walk to the WAX bus just around the corner of NYNY on Tropicana. It runs once an hour so keep an eye on the schedule.
    Just copy the times it hits the NYNY bus stop from the schedule here on this site.
    http://www.rtcsnv.com/wp-content/uploads/routes/2013/WAX(07-07-13).pdf
    Note that the WAX will get you to the BTC in just 12 minutes. Pay attention so you don't miss the stop as it will come sooner than you think.
    The speed of the bus will make up for the round-about route.
    I'd try to pay one dollar using my Medicare card as proof of senior status to get to the BTC on the WAX bus. At most it will be $2.


    At the BTC I'd get my photo ID and then spend $17 for a 15 day pass. I'd have now spent just $18 and my entire week of bus travel would be covered on any buses at any time.
    I'd spend another dollar and get a complete book of bus schedules for easy reference.
    Maybe on your next trip, you don't get a 15 day pass, but on this first trip you are going to invest half of the cost of the pass just to get to the BTC to get the ID. Then you don't have to worry about walking the strip at all for the whole week. You can walk when you want and ride when you don't.

    I am assuming that you don't want to ride buses with luggage. If you did, you could actually take the WAX from the airport directly to the BTC, get the ID, the pass, and the book, and hop on the SDX or Deuce to take you up to Bellagio and so to Bally's.
    That would mean that for your $18 ($1 WAX and $17 pass) you covered your transportation from airport to your hotel as well as a week of unlimited travel on any buses and the obtaining of the photo ID for next trip.
    But you would have to load your own luggage on and off the WAX and on and off the SDX or Deuce.
    And getting back to the airport from Bally's along Flamingo and then Paradise (route 108) is easy with the pass as well. I often have taken that route, rolled my luggage into Terrible's for a quick brunch before my flight and then out again to catch the 108 to the airport. If you could do that, you could cover all your transportation cost for unlimited travel all week and transportation to and from the airport for less than one cab ride to the airport.
     
  7. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    dewey, once again thank you.

    I should have noted a couple of things i didn't mention in my other posts.
    I always drive from LA-Vegas and have for many years, but since my stroke in 2011 i have been taking the LUX Bus (Anaheim-Vegas) which has been great because it goes straight to Vegas which then drops you off at Harrah's. So i don't use the airport.

    When perusing the Strip from Wynn/Fashion Show Mall to Mandalay Bay i do use the Trams sometimes, but i actually prefer walking because it's good for my legs to get the strength back. I don't need a cane or anything, but my calf tightens up and i have to stop for a couple of minutes just to rest my leg.

    What i'm going to do is after i check in i will take the Tram to Monte Carlo and walk over to NYNY to catch the WAX bus and go to the BTC terminal to pick up my reduced fare ID.
    Then i will stay downtown for a little bit to take pics with my Cell (i'm not really a downtown person) and then take the WAX bus back to NYNY then take the Tram back to Bally's.
    Once i get the reduced fare ID i can use the RTC bus on Flamingo to travel to Maryland Pkwy on the east side, and also use the RTC on Tropicana going towards Decatur on the west side.
    I'm glad that you mentioned the WAX bus........i was thinking the SDX bus to downtown from the Strip was the easiest way, i never figured going downtown on the bus is easier and cheaper from NYNY.
    I will have the RTC schedules for all three routes on hand to make sure i'm on time (especially the WAX).
    I really don't need a pass, but thanks anyways, i will use the RTC , even though i'm in Vegas for a week, some days i take the shuttle to Gold Coast for the buffet, but once i have the ID i will use the bus a couple of other times.
    I plan on being in Vegas 3 times this year (just like last year). I'm comped all year and already have Bally's and Planet Hollywood booked. But now with my reduced fare ID (which i will get in May), i will now have an option to eat off strip (besides the hotels) at places i really like (Raising Cane) etc.
    I know some people are wondering why go through all this trouble to save a buck, well, i usually go solo and i like to save money wherever i can (i use the "B" card also to save a buck) and i don't go to shows or really shop........but in the evening most of my bankroll goes towards gambling.
    Also, i kind of look forward to hitting the BTC and then spending a little time downtown for one afternoon, as i said, most of my time is spent on the Strip and near Strip using the shuttle, but at least now i can do a lot of things i used to do when i had my car (hopefully during the summer i can rent a car and go to Red Rock for a day).
     
  8. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Great Waverunner. I knew if I said enough, something would be useful.
    Now your job is to win huge amounts of money.
    Enjoy the trip.
     
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