Getting Around Las Vegas: Guide to Public Transportation

Public transportation, downtown Las Vegas
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The RTC (The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada) manages the buses that run up and down the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, and offers one of the best ways to get around Las Vegas without shelling out a ton of money. Tourists will especially want to take advantage of the Deuce, a bus that operates along Las Vegas Boulevard, and the SDX, better known as the Downtown Express, which connects the Strip to Downtown. The RTC fleet features 39 routes served by more than 400 vehicles.

illustration of las vegas public transportation
 TripSavvy / Julie Bang

How to Ride the RTC

Using RTC transit services offers a quick, safe, and affordable way to see the sites on the Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. Buses regularly stop at points along both routes, so riders can jump on and off while sightseeing. The Las Vegas Deuce is a double-decker air-conditioned bus that runs along the Strip with room for up to 97 people. 

  • Fares: A two-hour bus pass costs $6, a 24-hour pass costs $8, and a three-day pass costs $20. Buses require exact fare. Children 5 years old and younger ride free and must be accompanied by an adult.
  • How to Pay: Riders can purchase a ticket aboard buses with exact change. Some stops also offer vending machines where riders can purchase tickets using cash or a credit card, but the machines don't give changes. The RTC app, rideRTC, is free to download and offers tickets as well. All tickets are validated with a timestamp and are ready to use at the time of purchase.
  • Routes and Hours: Stops for the Deuce are located about every quarter-mile in each direction of the Vegas Strip and are marked with signs or by bus shelters. The Deuce starts at Fremont Street Experience on Las Vegas Boulevard and ends at South Strip Transit Terminal (SSTT). The SDS makes 19 stops around downtown Las Vegas with some stops on the Strip. The Deuce operates 24 hours a day, stopping every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and every 20 minutes from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. The SDX Downtown Express runs every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to midnight. You can use the trip planner on the RTC website to plan your route and find out real-time departure/arrival information.
  • Transfers: If you want to change to the PDX or Deuce you'll need to request a transfer from your bus driver in order to get on a different bus.
  • Accessibility: All Deuce buses are lift-equipped, kneel to the curb, and have low floors to accommodate passengers using mobility devices. Seating and space for up to two wheelchairs are reserved in the front of the vehicle, just behind the operator's seat.

Trip to Strip

One way to ride anywhere you want on the Strip, in Downtown Las Vegas, or from McCarran International Airport is through Trip to Strip, an RTC-operated ride share for groups with no surge pricing. The comfortable vans have Wi-Fi and room for 11 passengers. You can book these rides for free through the RTC app. Trip to Strip operates 24/7.

Getting to the Airport

Riders can access McCarran International Airport by riding to the South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT) and riding a Route 109 bus there. Arrivals at McCarran International Airport's Terminal 3 and Terminal 1 can use the McCarran Airport inter-terminal shuttle ride between terminals. Route 109 located at Terminal 1 allows travelers to access the South Strip Transfer Terminal, where they can connect with other routes.

Taxis & Ride Shares

More than 10 taxi companies service Las Vegas. Taxi lines form at the front of most resorts on the Strip or in Downtown Las Vegas. At McCarran International Airport, taxis queue up on the east side of baggage claim, outside door exits 1 through 4 at Terminal 1 and outside on Level Zero at Terminal 3. Uber and Lyft have designated places to pick up riders at every resort on the Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. At McCarran International Airport, riders meet their vehicle at level 2 of the parking garage at Terminal 1 and on the valet level of the Terminal 3 parking garage.

Limousines

Many resorts offer limousine service for a fee. Ask a concierge for limousine services. From the airport, limousines are available on the west side of baggage claim, outside exits 7 through 13 at Terminal 1 and on Level Zero on the west end of the building at Terminal 3.

Rental Cars

The McCarran Rent-A-Car Center is 3 miles south of the airport with 11 rental car companies represented. The center is open 24 hours, 365 days a year with continuous shuttle services to the McCarran International Airport terminals. Keep in mind that hotels owned by MGM Resorts, Caesar Entertainment, and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas do charge for self-parking and valet parking.

Las Vegas Monorail

The seven-stop, 3.9-mile (6.4-kilometer) elevated system along the east side of the Strip travels from the Sahara to the north down to the MGM Grand on the south end of the Strip.

Tips for Getting Around Las Vegas

  • Don’t try to get across town at rush hour. For Las Vegas, the busiest commuting times are between 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. During these windows, trying to use the I-15 to the west of the Strip to travel can mean delays.
  • Driving on the Strip always means traffic, so add buffer time to any trip, even between casinos.  
  • Las Vegas doesn't get a lot of rain, but when it does, that means accidents. Add time to your travels if rain is involved.
  • Download the RTC app to find out when buses will arrive, where stops are located, and to pay for fares.
  • Pets or animals are not allowed on board with the exception of service animals, which are trained to assist individuals with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • RTC riders are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke on board. Riders cannot bring any object that is too large to fit between passenger seats, including luggage. By law, the aisles must be kept clear of packages.
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