Vegas Transportation: Buses Shuttles Taxis & Car Rental Guide

Vegas Transportation tips for visitors, including public transportation, car rental considerations, which car rental companies are better and rental insurance tips; videos included (see further down).

Airport tip:  there is a fabulous new bus taking you to and from the airport: the Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) which travels from downtown Vegas to the airport, also stopping at Tropicana (South Strip), by its East entrance (you can see the bus stop very clearly from there)!  For only 2 dollars you can give the finger to the ever-increasingly expensive taxis and avoid the long wait for the shuttle.   I loved using it on my last trip. More details on their own website.

The fastest, most comfortable bus to go large distances in Vegas (mostly tourist attractions but also main areas of Vegas) is the Downtown and Strip Express bus. You must buy your ticket or day pass (or 3-day pass) in advance (major stops have self-service ticket machines accepting credit cards) and be aware that it does not stop everywhere (otherwise it would not be an ‘express bus’!). However, it’s highly recommended for fast-moving in Vegas as an alternative to the much more expensive taxis. Routes and route maps of this Vegas express bus can be found on their own website.  Vegas Transportation

The Deuce is the much slower version of the above, stopping practically everywhere (especially on the Strip!) but, at the same time, covering longer routes. It also operates 24 hours, so we still love this essential bus! You need to pay with the exact change when you board, or you can use a credit card or get change on the ticket machines placed at some bus stops. Their fares (for non-residents) are:

Vegas Transportation: Buses Strip fares (local, reduced passes are valid too)

2-hour all access pass 24-hour pass 3-day pass 30-day pass
Valid on all lines
Full fare $6 $8 $20 $65
Reduced fare $3 $4 $10 $30

All residential passes are valid on Strip & Downtown Express and Deuce on the Strip with a local I.D. Children five (5) years of age and younger ride free and must be accompanied by an adult.

Note from the RTC website. Reduced Fares: to be eligible for a Reduced Fare you must meet one of the following: youth 6-17 years, senior citizens 60+ years or persons with disabilities or present your Medicare card for eligibility. Passenger must present a reduced fare photo I.D. card or Clark County School ID (Current school year) to the vehicle operator to be eligible for reduced fares. Multi-day passes can be purchased online ahead of time. Passes purchased online and by mail need to be validated at a ticket vending machine before boarding proof of payment vehicles.

RTC passes have a magnetic strip. When boarding buses (except those with proof of payment), slide the pass at the strip reader on top of the fare box to verify payment.

More information on RTC Vegas Transportation can be found on their own website.  

Video of traveling using the Downtown & Strip Express Bus as well as regular buses around Las Vegas:  go to our Real Vegas Videos page.

Vegas Transportation: Taxi/Cab Fares

 To calculate your cab fare, go to, click on airport and choose Vegas McCarran (for example), and from there pick your destination. The results are reliable.

Vegas Transportation: Monorail; it’s a good way to go from A to B if you are staying in a resort next to the monorail stop but only if the distances are long and going by bus would take much longer: for example, if you are staying at MGM Grand and wish to visit Mirage (across the road from Harrah’s), the Monorail will be a much faster way to get there (faster than by bus). But bear in mind that the monorail stops are quite a walk from the resorts so you will find yourself… Walking a significant distance to get to and away from the stops. So, if you wish to go to Paris from MGM Grand, walking there will probably be the best way, even if it’s a long walk. There are many monorail deals available; for example, you can redeem your myVegas points for Monorail passes, and you don’t need a large number of points). The Monorail stops at the following resorts: MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris – one stop for both), Flamingo, Harrah’s, Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate, the Stratosphere (but you’ll have a bit to walk still). More more information ask us if you want to know more about the monorail.  We have videos on Monorail travel.  Check our Real Vegas Videos page or ask us.

Better to rent a car or use public transport or taxis?

The above-mentioned buses available for visitors (and for locals who want to go to those main areas) are excellent, better than in most cities I have visited in North America. However, you may have the option of renting a car and may be wondering if that may be the best Vegas transportation method for your trip.

If it’s your first time in Vegas and if you have several days, you can easily visit all the main areas on foot and by public transport. You could visit the areas in clusters (if you stay in downtown Vegas, for example, you could do Fremont Street area and surrounding attractions in a couple of days, then North Strip, then Mid Strip, then South Strip, all on separate days of course and all do-able by bus – but be prepared for very hot days in the summer and late spring). Then you could rent a car and visit all those areas not easily reachable by public transport such as the M Resort buffet or areas where you do need a car, such as the nearby Red Rock Canyon or the super affordable yet very good Red Rock Buffet or even the Silverton buffet. If you have already been to Vegas recently (because it’s always changing!), then going from A to B becomes more practical by car; as long as your resort allows you to park for free (many do, but please read our note at the bottom of this paragraph), it’s absolutely the best way to go around Vegas (especially if you want to go ‘everywhere’ and if you don’t have much time); always self-park and don’t bother with valet parking (unless you don’t care about money). If you rent a car you are truly free to travel to any current hot spot in Vegas without having to calculate the time you will need to get there or the additional money you will spend if you get a taxi (taxi line-ups can be extremely long too, by the way!).

Parking in Vegas Resorts

Some Vegas Resorts are charging for parking, as explained on the Vegas resorts parking fees page and on the Caesars resorts parking page.  You may be able to redeem parking rewards through the game myVegas.

By car you can go wherever you get a great deal to eat or to go clubbing, or to an off-Strip show, for example; sometimes the best deals or the most exciting experience are not on the Strip and it’s absolutely better to be able to choose among what you really want to do rather than what you can do.

To summarize our tips on Vegas transportation, using the Deuce or the Express bus, which are good and relatively inexpensive, can be time consuming (you may waste some time just waiting for the bus). At the same time, however, going by bus and on foot will completely let you ‘absorb’ Las Vegas inch by inch. The other thing to consider is traffic: buses go through the main areas and they are traffic-filled despite theoretically having allocated sections of the road, whilst if you drive you can use parallel roads and move much faster (but you must know where you are going). Taxis are very expensive and they always expect a tip, apart from the fact that sometimes the line ups for taxis are long and bothersome.  Their starting fixed fee seems to be higher every time and you are always running the risk of being ‘taken for a ride’ (pardon the pun) by those seeking the longer route to squeeze more cash out of you. Please refer to our note above on parking your car in Vegas resorts.  Whenever you can, use the new bus (see top) for the airport. It’s on time, safe, convenient and affordable.

Which car rental company is best in Vegas & Tips & Tricks to Get the Best of your Car Rental Deal?

 Alternatives could be car pools and car shares.  Uber and Lyft now operate in Las Vegas too and, undoubtedly, they are very competitive against the greedy regular cab services (what irritates me the most are the expectations of tips after you have paid a ridiculously high cab fare).  Not as competitive as public transport, of course, but worth considering for some routes where public transportation is scares or free shuttles don’t exist (or if they are very infrequent).  Read more on the Vegas Uber service and the Vegas Lyft service if you are interested.  Warning:  make sure you know exactly where the pick up and drop off points are.  At least one of the 2 above-mentioned services have a stop which is supposedly not close enough to the airport.  Also, watch the payment rules carefully because there have been complaints (but there are daily complaints about taxi services too, to be fair).

Which car rental company is best in Vegas & Tips & Tricks to Get the Best of your Car Rental Deal?