There are plenty of ways to move about in Las Vegas. Whether you’re walking along the strip and downtown or hoping to explore the many museums or other cultural centers that exist just outside the shining neon signs, there’s always an option available for the curious traveler. While finding Vegas taxi cabs, Uber, Lyft and other ride-share services are available throughout the city, the most affordable and often convenient option is to take one of the many buses that navigate throughout sin city.
Whether you are coming in through Harry Reid Airport or hoping to travel throughout the Las Vegas strip at your own convenience, the bus routes through Las Vegas offer plenty of options with convenient stops to enjoy your stay. For the right price, guests can visit all of the Las Vegas landmarks while saving their money from surge pricing, and instead using it for high-stakes gambling at the casinos. Here’s all the information you need to master the transit systems that Las Vegas has to offer.
The Las Vegas transit system has a variety of buses and vehicles to offer for visitors. These range from traditional RTC buses to the modernized monorail. Sky trams and shuttle services also provide quick and easy access for guests to navigate their way throughout the strip.
The RTC buses, or the Regional Transportation Commission, is the most popular public transportation option in Las Vegas. The RTC buses offer a strip route known as Deuce, along with 36 additional residential routes, including four Express buses with routes that connect to all different corners of the Las Vegas Valley.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, or RTC, operates two overlapping routes that blanket the entire area of the strip. The Deuce is a double-decker bus system and in true Las Vegas style, it’s decked out in glittering gold. The deuce runs 24 hours and stops at most of the resorts located between Mandalay Bay and the Downtown Las Vegas area.
In addition to the Deuce is the Strip and Downtown Express, known locally as the SDX. Designed with the look and feel of trains in mind, the SDX connects Downtown Las Vegas with the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Las Vegas Strip with limited stops. This service provides a quicker route throughout the strip, but it’s best to plan accordingly so as to not overshoot your stop. Both the Deuce and the Strip and Downtown Express run approximately every 15 minutes and all RTC buses are equipped with Wi-Fi.
The Vegas Monorail is a great option for those wanting to view the city during its downtown loop. The seven-stop, 3.9-mile elevated system travels from the Sahara to the MGM Grand and ends at the southern tip of the Strip. The monorail runs from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday – Friday and until 3 a.m. on Friday – Sunday. Trains arrive every five to ten minutes for easy convenience.
Pricing for the monorail starts at $6 for single fare rides and a day pass is available for $15. For those planning to ride the system around the city for a week, a seven-day pass for $56 is also available. Drop-off stations are located mainly in casinos, and security guards are on duty at each drop-off location.
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Sam’s Town Shuttle offers free shuttle buses from Fremont casinos in the downtown area to Barbary Coast, Harrah’s and Riviera on the strip.
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In addition to the monorail system are the sky trams that connect properties owned by the same companies. The complimentary services connect Excalibur with the Luxor and Mandalay Bay while another connects the Crystals Mall to Monte Carlo and the Bellagio.
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In addition to direct routes along the strip, the RTC operates more than three dozen routes throughout the greater Las Vegas Valley, including North Las Vegas, Las Vegas proper, Henderson and Boulder City.
For the Deuce, stops are located about each quarter-mile on the Strip and are marked with signs and shelters. The Deuce starts at the Fremont Street Experience on Las Vegas Boulevard and ends at the South Strip Transit Terminal, or the SSTT.
The SDX makes 18 different stops around the downtown area, with some stops on the strip as well. For help navigating any potential routes, the RTC website and app allow guests to plan ahead of time and coordinate their departure and arrival times.
Popular Drop-Offs and Transit Centers
No matter where you are in Las Vegas, there are a variety of popular drop-off and pick-up zones that can be easily accessed as you navigate throughout the city. From the northern downtown area to the south end there is surely a drop-off center within walking distance.
Four main transportation hubs include the Bonneville Transit Center where you can take the BHX, CX, Deuce buses or the several others throughout the city. There’s also the Centennial Hills Transit Center Park & Ride, the Westcliff Transit center that can be utilized for the Westcliff airport express and the South Strip Transit Terminal which allows guests to take the Deuce buses up and down the Las Vegas strip at any time of day or night.
One of the most intimidating elements when visiting a new city is figuring out how the financial aspects of it all work. Should I hit a bank on the Strip first? Do I need cash? A credit card? How do I know if I’m being ripped off? All of these are valid concerns and when it comes to the price and knowing for how to pay for the Las Vegas bus system, we’ve got you covered.
A two-hour bus pass costs roughly $3 for Las Vegas guests. The most cost-effective method may be purchasing the 24-hour pass option, which only costs $5 for the day. A three-day pass is available for $10 and seven-day pass is also available for $20.
If you happen to be a resident of the Las Vegas area, there are discounted rates available as well. For residents, a single ride fare is listed at $1, a two-hour all-access residential pass is just $1.50 and a 24-hour Residential pass is just $2.50. There are also multi-day passes available for residents as well with a seven-day pass for $10, a 15-day all-access pass for $17 and a 30-day all-access pass for $32, normally $65 dollars for visiting guests.
Additional discounts are available for students, younger guests and senior citizens as well.
Bringing along the kids for the Las Vegas experience? No need to worry. All children aged five years old and younger are able to ride for free, but must be accompanied by an adult.
How to pay
In addition to the diverse routes that guests can take on the RTC, there are also a diverse amount of ways for guests to pay for their trip. Many tickets can be purchased aboard buses, but exact change is often preferred. Only have a credit card? Lucky for you, many stops throughout the Las Vegas area also offer ticket vending machines where riders can purchase tickets using either cash or a credit card. If you do bring cash for this option, be sure to have exact change as well as some machines don’t offer change.
For the more tech-savvy guests, there is the rideRTC app, which is free to download and offers tickets directly to your phone. Just show your phone screen to the driver after downloading your ticket and you’re all set to go. All tickets are validated with a timestamp and are ready to use at the time of purchase.
Tips for The Strip and Downtown
In addition to mapping out the routes and figuring out the correct pricing, there are also several tips that might help make your bus trips throughout Las Vegas a bit easier to handle.
Downtown visitors who get off transit have the chance to hop on one of the RTC Bike Share rides where they can get an up-close view of the strip. The RTC bike share has 21 kiosks and over 180 bikes for guests to ride, making it a cheap and efficient way to ride around downtown Las Vegas.
RTC, in addition to their buses, also offers a ride-sharing service now as well. The on-demand “Trip to Strip” service can accommodate passengers of 11 or fewer at one time and never charge for surge pricing. The service area for the ride-share program covers the normal resort pathway from downtown all the way to the M Resort and the Harry Reid International Airport. The ride-share options also provide several other benefits for your trip including complimentary wi-fi, USB charging ports and wheelchair accessibility.
Which buses run 24 hours a day in Las Vegas?
The Las Vegas Deuce on the Las Vegas Strip operates 24 hours a day and stops every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and every 20 minutes from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.
What’s the best way to view the city?
White the double-decker buses and bus routes make it easy to hop on and off, the best way to view the city from above is to take advantage of either the monorail system or the sky trams that allow guests to move from hotel to hotel.
How do I pay for the bus?
There are a few different payment options. Cash can be paid with exact change to the bus drivers, or a ticket vending machine is available at most stops so guests can use their credit or debit cards. The new RTC app also allows guests to pay early online at their own convenience.