Finding a good way to move millions of visitors up and down a five-mile stretch of road is challenging, especially when the road in question is Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas has been working on public transportation solutions for years–after all, who wants to be stuck in a traffic jam on the Strip? The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) operates Vegas’ bus system, which runs regularly up and down the Strip, but all that traffic can really slow down bus service. The fare is a bargain at $3.00, but you might find yourself on the bus for far longer than you planned. Several of the Strip hotels offer free tram service between their properties, but those rides will only take you short distances. A viable public transportation alternative is the Las Vegas Monorail. The Monorail is located east of the Strip. It’s faster than the bus and less crowded. You can ride from the Hilton to the MGM Grand. The Monorail is slightly more expensive than the bus and requires more walking, but it’s a good option if you’re staying on or very near the Strip and don’t plan to leave the area. Here are some things you’ll need to know about the Las Vegas Monorail:
If you like treasure hunts, your traveling companions should put you in charge of finding the LV Monorail stations. Yes, there are signs with little arrows that point you in the direction you need to go. However, there are a lot of signs in Las Vegas. Due to the distance involved from the front of any casino to the Monorail station in the back, you’ll have to follow several signs (think breadcrumbs, only with better lighting) without getting distracted by signs for the poker room, the casino bar, or the slot tournament going on that day. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Monorail is in front of the building, which makes finding it much easier.
A single fare for the Monorail is $5, an all-day pass is $12, and a three-day pass is $28. Children under five ride for free. You can buy tickets online, purchase them at a vending machine at any station (stations located at: MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Hilton, and Sahara), or from a real person at the customer service booth at the MGM or Sahara. Credit cards, debit cards, and cash are accepted.
Riding the Monorail
The major drawback to riding the Monorail is that you do not have a view of the Strip. Your fellow passengers won’t be distracted by gigantic neon signs, which makes it that much more important to be courteous:
- Don’t have loud conversations on your cell phone or with your companions. Even worse: loud, profane conversations when children are present. Don’t be the person who makes everyone else think about duct tape.
- Don’t stare at the inebriated people… or the scantily clad people, or the Elvis impersonator, or anyone else, for that matter. Staring isn’t nice, no matter how tempting.
- Do be willing to give up your seat to the elderly or physically challenged. Who knows? Maybe that person just hit Mega Bucks and they’ll reward you for your manners.
The Las Vegas Monorail operates seven days a week. Monday through Thursday, you can ride from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Friday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Photo of Las Vegas Monorail courtesy of Phil Guest
Photo of sign to Monorail courtesy of Joe
Photo of Monorail ticket machines courtesy of Michael Gray
Photo of Monorail at upper right and left of photo credits courtesy of Thierry