Getting around Las Vegas
Public transportation is mostly limited to buses, operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) (tel: +1 800 228 3911; www.rtcsnv.com/transit), which runs over 30 routes in the Greater Las Vegas Valley. You can order transit passes online or buy them from vending machines. Two-hour and 24-hour passes are available from the driver.
The Las Vegas Monorail (tel: +1 702 699 8200; www.lvmonorail.com) runs Mon 0700-2400, Tues-Thurs 0700-0200 and Fri-Sat 0700-0300 from SLS Las Vegas to the MGM Grand. Connect to the LV Monorail by using the free private monorail between The Luxor, Excalibur and New York New York.
It is against the law to hail a taxi - use the stands on the Strip and Downtown, or call a taxi from ACE Cab Company (tel: +1 702 888 4888) or Desert Cab Inc (tel: +1 702 386 9102).
Meters run at a set rate per mile, and you should be aware that fares will continue to rise (albeit more slowly) even when traffic is stationary. By law, standard cabs can only accommodate a maximum of five people, including children, so you’ll have to split between different vehicles if you’re part of a larger group. Don't forget to tip around 10-15%.
Traffic is heaviest during rush hour (0800-1000 and 1630-1900). The Strip and Downtown, however, can become congested any time. There is little street parking - hotels and casinos offer free or valet parking. If you’re travelling from one part of the Strip to another and can’t make use of the monorail (see above), don’t rule out the possibility of walking. The distances between resorts are often easily managed on foot, and you may even find it preferable to crawling from A to B in a traffic jam.
Drivers must be over 21. National driving licences are permissible, but check if your car hire company requires an International Driving Permit. The main appeal of having your own vehicle isn’t so much the ability to get around Vegas itself as the opportunity for independent exploration of spots like the Mojave Desert and the Grand Canyon. Many visitors combine Los Angeles and Las Vegas into one trip – the drive between the two usually takes around five hours.
You can hire bikes from Las Vegas Cyclery, 10575 Discovery Drive (tel: +1 702 596 2953; www.lasvegascyclery.com), or McGhie's Bike Outpost, 16 Cottonwood Street, Blue Diamond (tel: +1 702 875 4820; www.mcghies.com). Bicycle Nevada (www.bicyclenevada.com) has route information.
The Strip itself isn’t the most glaringly obvious spot for a cycle ride, but the wider urban area, and in particular the surrounding landscapes, can make for extremely rewarding biking territory. It’s worth checking out online community Biking Las Vegas (www.bikinglasvegas.com) for suggested routes and other tips.