Las Vegas Sun

September 14, 2014

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Extra public transportation added for conventions

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Las Vegas Sun File

Taxis wait at “the pit” for fares at McCarran International Airport. At any time, there are about 2,000 cabs on Las Vegas streets.

Visitors to the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show will be able to get around town easier this week thanks to extra buses, taxicabs and trains.

The world’s largest technology show is expected to bring 126,000 people to the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Hilton and the Venetian from Thursday to Sunday. Another 30,000 are expected to hit the Adult Entertainment Expo, also in town this week.

Parking, usually free and plentiful in Las Vegas, may be hard to find or expensive near the main events this week, but both locals and visitors can take advantage of other transit options.

For visitors staying on the Strip, many hotels offer shuttles to the airport and convention center, which may be the most convenient and cheapest transportation option. Details vary by hotel.

In addition, the valley’s public bus system is extending the hours of the main route that serves the convention center and the Strip, the Las Vegas Monorail is adding extra trains and there will be extra taxis on the roads.

The Strip & Downtown Express bus route will begin service at 7 a.m. instead of its usual 9 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, the Regional Transportation Commission said.

The bus line, which runs until 12:30 a.m., connects downtown Las Vegas to the convention center, then runs down the Strip from Convention Center Drive to the Las Vegas Outlet Center south of the Las Vegas Beltway. It then goes to the South Strip Transfer Terminal on Sunset Road before heading back north.

Bus passes must be purchased before getting on an express bus. Riders can purchase a 2-hour pass for $5 or a 24-hour all-access pass for $7 at ticket vending machines at each stop. Three-day passes are also available for $20, and 30-day passes cost $65.

Locals can ride the Strip & Downtown Express or the Deuce bus line, both of which charge premium fares, using passes for residential routes as long as they have local identification.

The RTC extends the morning hours of the Strip & Downtown Express for six of the largest conventions each year. In addition to this week, the bus line will start at 7 a.m. for the World Concrete Expo from Jan. 8 to 21, MAGIC International from Feb. 14 to 17, CONEXPO-CON/AGG from March 22 to 26, MAGIC International from Aug. 22 to 25 and the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association from Nov. 1 to 4.

The Nevada Taxicab Authority approved extra cabs to help transport people this week.

The authority approves extra cabs for various holidays and large conventions based on the number of visitors expected in town.

For CES and the Adult Expo, an additional 13 to 15 cabs per company were permitted.

Finally, the Las Vegas Monorail offers easy access to both the convention center and the Las Vegas Hilton for visitors staying at hotels on the east side of the Strip.

The monorail operates from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Sunday. A single ride costs $5, a one-day pass is $12 and a three-day pass is $28.

The monorail runs along the back of the Strip, with stops at the Sahara, the Hilton, the convention center, Harrah’s and the Imperial Palace, the Flamingo, Bally’s and Paris, and MGM Grand.

The system will be running as many trains as possible, especially at the beginning and end of the day, monorail spokeswoman Ingrid Reisman said.

During the rush, new trains will arrive at the stations every few minutes, but because of lines, waits could be as long as 20 minutes, Reisman said. But that’s still shorter than the waits at the taxi stands, she said.

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