Uber And Lyft In Las Vegas

Las Vegas still has thousands of taxi cabs but in recent years ride sharing apps such Uber and Lyft have taken a big chuck of their business; You will still see lines of taxis out front of the big Strip resorts but you will also often see signs around the properties for Uber and Lyft pick up locations.

What is ride sharing? Not everyone has used one of these two services so let me explain a little how they work first you need to download one of their apps from the Apple or Google Play Store on your phone and set up an account with a credit card attached; After you have done this open the app and select their pickup location and destination then the type of vehicle required the app will give you a price and after you agree dispatch a nearby vehicle to you with the expected wait time.

All the vehicles are usually are less than five years old with the drivers using their private cars and the apps are location based which link you with the driver so you can you can see each others location to make a easy pick up.

Surge Pricing: Generally Uber and Lyft are much cheaper than the taxis although during high demand periods such as for example a big conference in town, early evening when everyone wants to go to dinner or a show or other times of higher demand prices go up. When surge pricing is in effect prices can be much higher than a taxis so at such times it might be better to explore taxis or other options.

Airport Pickup Locations: Yes you can use Uber and Lyft at the airport with the pickup locations in the parking garages so you will have to take your luggage their to get picked up; The locations are in Terminal 1 at Level 2M or at Terminal 3 its at Level V for valet. When you depart Mc Carren Airport, Uber and Lyft drivers are allowed to drop you off on the departures level where you can check your bags or carry in to the terminal easily.

IMG_0896Hotel Pickup Locations: Most large Strip resorts as you can see in the sign above have designated pickup locations on the property for Uber or Lyft. The locations might take a bit of waking but generally aren’t too remote but might take a bit of walking. On smaller properties on the Strip or Downtown if you don’t see the sign i would ask at the hotels front desk.

Which Company To Choose? If you use Uber or Lyft generally you get very good reasonably priced out side of surge pricing and, convenient service which one you use is up to you. The prices between the two do vary so having both apps might not be a bad idea and both companies offer larger or higher end vehicle options too, Globally Uber is the much bigger company but in Las Vegas Lyft has a strong following but both provide similar experiences.

Is Ride Sharing Good For Las Vegas: This is where i get all the comments from the taxi drivers who are not fans of Uber or Lyft to say the least. Taxi drivers will argue that you are safer with them because they have to follow strict licensing requirements which Uber and Lyft drivers do not although ride share drivers are back ground checked.

Could your driver not be a good person yes even with background checks and licensing its possible but unlikely if i was traveling with a group of people i wouldn’t be too concerned. If i was a single person especially at night I would be careful but thats a good idea anyways.

Before ride sharing came to Las Vegas there was fixed high regulated taxi fees although not as expensive as some other tourist cities. Now with Uber and Lyft you have an often less expensive option to get around Las Vegas which uses location based technology which makes the services very convenient for customers.

The taxis companies in the past have used their might to block customer friendly things such as extending the monorail to the airport to protect their lucrative airport runs so it’s a bit hard to feel sorry for them. Taxis are not going away not everyone will use ride sharing apps and during surge pricing its often less expensive to use taxis and many people are just going to walk out of the hotel or airport and jump in a taxis.

Uber and Lyft have brought competition to Las Vegas which is good for locals and visitors alike although with both companies burning through money especially Uber its unknown how long the lower prices might last but while they do competition is good for the consumer.

 

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EDC Opening Ceremony Shuttles

concert

If you plan on getting to the Las Vegas Speedway early today to attend the Opening Ceremonies there is a shuttle option for it as an add on when you buy you shuttles passes at the EDC website.

If you pay for the add on then you can take a shuttle from Circus Circus between 3 pm and 6 pm today to attend the Opening Ceremonies with Premier shuttle pass holders having expedited loading on the shuttles.

EDC Beating The Traffic

concert

Its Electric Daisy Carnival time in Las Vegas again as the huge crowds head out this weekend to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three nights of dancing and partying. One drawback of such a popular event is always getting from your hotel to the event and getting back again after everyone leaves; Well one company is offering a solution albeit an expensive one Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters is offering helicopter flights from McCarren International Airport to the Las Vegas Speedway and back again all three nights of EDC.

The price for a helicopter to the event isn’t inexpensive as you would expect with the price of $499 per person for each night of the event and, that includes limousine pickup and drop off after the event to your hotel. The companies seven seat helicopters will depart McCarren each night at 6 pm 6:30 pm as well as 7 pm and 7:30 pm with the flight to EDC taking about 12 minutes and although it sounds expensive i’m sure they will do well.

Mirage Tram Reopens

The tram that runs since 1993 between the Mirage and Treasure Island (now TI) is finally running again after it closed late last year after a short time reopening after a complete renovation; The tram was only open three weeks after the complete renovation of the system before a two ton steel wheel broke which forced the tram to be closed while a new part was fabricated and then installed. So now the two  car 100 passenger tram is back running the short trip between the two properties.

If you want to use the newly opened tram the hours are from 9 am to 1 am Sunday to Thursday and until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays. The tram ride is free and the wait isn’t too long usually for the tram to return to your station unless their is crowds but even during busy times it doesn’t seem to bad as many people don’t know the tram even exists.

Sun Country Adding LV Flights

Airplane

Minneapolis based Sun Country Airlines which eliminated first class seats not to long ago and relaunched itself as a low cost carrier has announced that they are adding more flights to Las Vegas starting September 5th; There will be thirteen new nonstop flights added per week to four cities which are St Louis, San Antonio, Redmond, Oregon and Providence, Rhode Island to what is now Sun County’s second hub after Minneapolis-St Paul which is their main hub.

Sun Country is one of several low cost carriers to Las Vegas with Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier and Southwest if you still consider Southwest to be a low cost airline the market is becoming very competitive for consumers which keeps fares low. The new ultra low cost airlines are also adding direct flights to Las Vegas from airports and markets not previously served by larger carriers, these carriers ay not be for everyone but they do offer a less expensive way to visit Las Vegas.

Bus Passenger Numbers Fall

According to the Regional Transportation Commission less people are taking the RTC city buses in the resort corridor with the number of passengers dropping consistently over the last three years. The ridership revenues for the resort corridor have dropped 18 percent from October2015 until December 2018 according the experts. Yes passengers is good if you are a rider and maybe mean its more likely you will snag a front upstairs seat on the Deuce double deckers but less revenue could mean cuts to local routes at some point.

The wider use  of ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft could explain some of this especially since resort properties have set aside spaces for pick up and drop off of customers but there is also a wider drop of bus ridership across the country. In my local county in Southern California the bus company has eliminated lots of routes or cut back service heavily on the non busiest routes which could happen in Las Vegas but tourists most likely won’t notice as the lesser traveled routes would be mostly used by locals

Free Transit For Federal Employees

RTC Deuce Bus

The ongoing Federal Government shutdown has been a hardship for Federal employees and many Las Vegas companies have been helping where they can with the latest being the RTC which runs the buses in Las Vegas; All furloughed government employees are able to get free transit on any RTC bus by showing their federal ID to the driver when boarding the bus which is a nice way to help them get around during this time of hardship for them. For more information go to rtcsnv.com or visit your RTC transit office.

 

Frontier Adds More Routes To LV

Airplane

Discount carrier Frontier Airlines has announced they will add five new non stop destinations to Las Vegas. The new cities being served starting in April are San Diego, Detroit, Houston, Dallas as well as Philadelphia.

Frontier has been steadily expanding its presence at McCarren International Airport and with the addition of the new routes will serve 35 cities with non stop routes to Las Vegas.

To celebrate the new routes Frontier is offering special one way introductory fares from as low as $29 plus the usual taxes and fees so if you live near one of these cities you might want to check them out while they last.

New Years Eve Restrictions

fireworks

Apart from some of the more obvious things not to try and take with you on the Strip or Fremont Street for New Years Eve there is other restrictions you might not know about; Among the items not allowed by the Metro Police Department in either place are glass items, backpacks, strollers, coolers or anyone under 18.

The Strip will be closed to traffic after 5 pm today but even before that the Strip is likely to have heavy traffic and as well as crowds slowing down the traffic even more; If you can avoid travelling down the Strip today i would and instead use the parallel streets although it still might not be quick going but still better than the Strip.

RTC Bus Las vegasRTC local buses will be routed away from the Strip and if you are going to use them i would suggest its earlier in the day and you get to the area you plan to be for the night. If you do wait until a bit later all RTC buses are free from 6 pm tonight until 9 am on New Years Day and additional routes than normal will operate a twenty four hour schedule. The buses will be packed so i would have some patience and if you want a good way from the airport to the Strip or downtown i would check out the Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) which will run every 20 minutes from 6 pm to 4 am.

Yes hotel resorts can block access to their properties because of the crowds, I have been on the Strip on New Years Eve in past years where hotel security blocked access to non guests later in the evening because of the big crowds in the casino. If this happens to you and you really need to get in a certain property i’m not saying you should do this but most likely hotel security might block access from the Strip but might not block access from the other side of the property through the parking garage for example.

Uber and Lyft most likely wont be able to get to their normal pick up and drop off points at the Strip resorts or at least not easily so i would get picked up or dropped off away from the Strip and walk the rest of the way; By walking you might also save some money as both services will be using surge pricing because of the demand.

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Flixbus New Years Stop Change

flixbus, bus

If you plan on taking Flixbus to Las Vegas for the New Years celebrations or leave town at that time the usual stop at Caesars Palace won’t be used from noon on New Years Eve to noon on New Years Day with all buses arriving and departing from the downtown bus stop.

Downtown Stop: located at curb on South 1st Street on the northeast corner of 1st Street and East Bonneville Avenue

If you are taking other bus companies from or to Las Vegas around New Years check the stop locations as they may have changed.

Other Main Bus Companies To Las Vegas: Megabus, Greyhound, Lux Bus

Boltbus no longer offers services to Los Angeles or Las Vegas as when Megabus returned to the market it cut its service from daily to a few days a week and with now with Flixbus in the market it pulled out completely.

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