Getting Around Las Vegas by free shuttles, buses, taxis cabs, limos, rental cars and free trams
Getting around in Las Vegas can be accomplished with relative ease once you know which method of transport is best suited to you.
Las Vegas Area Sights
Unless you have booked an all-inclusive package that includes airport shuttles you will need transportation to your hotel. Several shuttle companies operate from McCarren International Airport to the Las Vegas strip, downtown Las Vegas, Boulder Highway and the outlying hotels. Travel arrangements can be made outside of the baggage claim area for one-way or round trip transport. Round trip fares are slightly less than double the one-way fare. Approximate round trip fares per person are as follows:
Off strip hotels--$13.50
Reservations are recommended for timely return to airport.
Prices for limousine service in Las Vegas range between $35/hr for a basic limo up to $80/hr for a super-stretch limo. Limousines also offer shuttle service between McCarren Airport and Strip hotels from about $4.00 per person and downtown hotels from about $5.00 per person, be aware that for this price it is more likely that you will be placed in a shuttle bus or van operated by the limo company.
A fairly new option exist to pre-arrange for a limo to pick you up and/or drop you off at McCarren Airport, or anywhere else you may require a limo to take you (especially helpful if you are getting married in Las Vegas or attending a wedding during your stay). There is no cost or obligation on your part if you submit your information to have several companies bid on providing you with limo service.
If you are coming to Vegas with a large group to attend a corporate event or your best friend's bachelor / bachelorette party you will need a large vehicle to accommodate high number of passenger. VegasVIPLimo.com features super stretch SUV limousine up to 45 people from Hummer H2 to party bus
Taxi fare in Las Vegas is governed by the Nevada Taxicab Authority and as such all fares between 16 companies operating in the Las Vegas valley will be the same. Once you enter a taxi the meter will start at $3.20. If the taximeter senses that the taxicab is moving less than 8-12 MPH, (as is the case when stuck in traffic) the taximeter will assess a charge of $.25 (twenty-five cents) every 41 seconds which equals $22/hour. While travelling at speeds above 8-12 MPH the rate is $2.00 per mile which is broken down into 1/8th of mile segments of $0.25 each. There is also an additional $1.20 fee for all trips that begin at McCarran Airport, this will result in trips to your hotel from the airport costing more than your return trip to the airport. Once the taximeter senses that the taxicab is moving at a speed greater than 8-12 MPH the fare calculates on the actual distance travelled.
First 1/8th of a mile = $3.20
Each additional mile = 0.25
Waiting time = $22.00 per hour
McCarran Airport pickup fee = $1.20
From McCarren Airport the approximate fares are as follows:
South Strip (Luxor, Mandalay, Tropicana)--$9.50-$12.00
Center Strip (Caesars, Mirage, Harrah's)--$12.00-$15.00
*Note-The above rates are per car load (up to 5 passengers) not per person.
Drivers are not allowed to alter from the most direct route without prior approval from the passengers.
Cab fares add up quickly, buses are slow and the strip is long if you are walking. a rental car in Las Vegas is recommended if you are going to be doing a lot of travelling around town. The major car rental companies have booths at McCarren Airport but we suggest that you book your car before you leave home. Having a car at your disposal will give you more time to enjoy your Las Vegas vacation without transportation worries.
The citizens area transit or CAT is the Las Vegas public transit system. The 2 routes that most Las Vegas visitors will be concerned with are the #301 and #302 which both run the Strip from the south to Fremont street. The 301 stops at every stop along the strip while the 302 is the express bus and stops at fewer locations. Fare to use the CAT bus sytem is $2.00 with exact fare required, drivers will not make change for you. For more information about the CAT you may visit their website by clicking here
The trolley bus travels from The Stratosphere to the South Strip area, it does not travel to Fremont Street. Trolley bus fare is $1.50 exact fare only with hours of operation between 9:30am to 2:00am on a 20 minute schedule. The trolley bus does serve the purpose of transport and is generally less crowded than the CAT buses but be forewarned, has uncomfortable wooden seats (nostalgic I suppose) and stops at every major hotel along the strip making transport very slow.
Las Vegas Monorail
The Las Vegas monorail runs from the MGM Grand Hotel to Sahara Ave.
The Las Vegas Monorail operates 7 days a week from 7:00am to 2:am Monday - Thursday and until 3:00am Friday - Sunday, Each car on the Monorail holds 72 riders seated and 152 riders standing with the approx. time to ride from one end of the 4 mile long Las Vegas strip is being 14 to 16 minutes, depending on the speed of boarding and unloading passengers.
The monorail tickets can be purchased at vending machines located inside each station and at station hotel properties.
Monorail ticket prices are as follows:
Normal Fare Rates
- 1 ride pass $5.00
- 2 ride pass $9
- 10 ride pass $35
- 1 Day pass $8 (Summer Special)
- 3 Day pass $40
- Children 5 and under FREE
For the current status of the monorail or to purchase advices tickets please visit the Las Vegas Monorail website.
1 ride pass is good for 1 entry to monorail system
10 ride pass good for 10 entrances, any station(s). This pass is valid for 1 year from first use.
1 day pass offers unlimited entrances, any station(s) is valid for 24 hour period from first use.
3 day pass offers unlimited entrances, any station(s) is valid for 72 hour period from first use.
Stations located along the monorail system are:
- MGM Grand station
- Bally's - Paris station
- Flamingo - Caesars Palace station
- Harrah's - Imperial Palace station
- Las Vegas Convention Center station
- Las Vegas Hilton station
- Sahara station
- Barbary Coast, Gold Coast, Orleans shuttle
Shuttle bus runs every 20-25 minutes to each of the above mentioned casinos between 9:30a.m. and Midnight. Catch the Barbary shuttle at the side entrance on Flamingo Road. Use the Barbary Coast to the Gold Coast shuttle and you can walk to the Rio which is located beside the Gold Coast.
- Harrah's to The Rio
Shuttles run on an approximate 30 minute schedule to each property between the hours of 10 a.m and 1a.m. Loading at the Rio is at the side entrance, loading at Harrah's is at the entrance at rear of casino next to the check-in counter.
- Sam's Town shuttle
Shuttles run from Sam's Town on the Boulder Highway to several Las Vegas locations every 45 to 60 minutes between the hours of 8 a.m and 11:30 p.m. depending on which route you are using. Shuttle run from Sam's Town to the following properties, Stardust, Fremont, California, Bourbon Street, San Remo and Harrah's. Although the Sam's Town web site says that a room key may be required we have never heard of anyone being asked to show a key.
- Hard Rock shuttle The Hard Rock shuttle picks up passengers about once per hour between 10 a.m. and 7p.m. Shuttle stops at the Forum Shops at 10 past the hour, Fashion show Mall at 15 minutes past the hour and the Stardust at 20 minutes past the hour. The friendly Hard Rock drivers will stop and pick you up if you flag them down between stops.
- The Palms shuttle
The Palms hotel offers a shuttle service runs on a loop to the fashion show mall, from there to Caesars Forum shops, then it's off to the Aladdin passage shops before returning back to the Palms.
Schedule is as follows:
Departs The Palms (west entrance near sports book) at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Departs Fashion Show Mall (Saks 5th Ave entrance) at 10:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Departs Caesars Forum Shops (downstairs valet entrance) at 10:30 a.m., noon, 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Departs Aladdin Desert Passage (downstairs valet entrance) at 10:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.
- Green Valley Ranch Shuttle Service
Green Valley Ranch offers a complimentary shuttle service to and from McCarran Airport and the Las Vegas Strip. This is a white, ten-passenger van with the Green Valley Ranch logo. It is available to the first ten people at each destination.
- McCarran Airport to Green Valley Ranch
The shuttle picks up and drops off guests at the Zero Level. The Zero Level is located down the escalators behind the Baggage Claim Information Desk. The shuttle will pick up and drop off across the driveway (to the right) across from stalls #21 and #22.
- Green Valley Ranch to the Las Vegas Strip
The shuttle picks up and drops off guests at the Mandalay Bay Tour & Travel Lobby
All these shuttles are a free service, a tip of $1 per rider to the driver will be appreciated
1. Tram that runs from Bellagio to the Monte Carlo hotel runs every 10 minutes 24 hours a day offers indoor boarding platforms.
2. Excalibur to Mandalay Bay tram operates 24 hours a day with non-stop service on the southbound trip. The same tram on the return (northbound) trip from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur provides a stop at the Luxor for those wishing to visit there.
Walking and Your Safety
The Las Vegas Strip is over 4 miles long from one end to the other, walking the strip will take considerable time. If you decide to try walking here are a few tips:
1. At night stay on the Strip and do not walk alone if you can avoid it. Las Vegas is, generally speaking, a safe city but like any other is not excluded from crime.
2. Wear comfortable, good fitting shoes.
3. Summer months are very hot, during daytime walks take bottled water with you and stop often at the casinos to get a fresh bottle.
4. Obey walk signals at traffic lights, many tourists are hit by cars every week driven by other tourists that are looking at the sights.
5. When walking on the Las Vegas Strip you will be handed pamplets and magazines with pictures or ads for sex that may be objectionable to you. Do not hold out your hand to take them, the people that are giving them away will not bother or harass you in any way if you ignore them.