Getting Around Vegas
The first question a new visitor to Las Vegas might ask is, “What is the best way to get around?” Another question could be, “Do I need a rental car?” One way or another, you have to get around. So, do you need a car?
Probably not, unless plans include trips to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, or other tourists stops outside the city.
If a rental is desired, rates can be found for a compact car as low as $28 per day. There will be some add-on fees when the final bill is tabulated so check out the details. In my experience I can usually rent a compact car for 4 days for about $125-$150, plus gas.
If the plan is to stay on the Strip or downtown, then a car is not really necessary. There is regular bus service up and down the strip. There are also monorails, cabs, limos, and now Uber. Uber has been the point of recent discussion and news articles.
Uber is a company that has contracted drivers who use their personal cars. There is an app for phones that can be used to summon an Uber driver and receive a price estimate. Once the ride is complete, riders will receive an email with the charges to their credit cards broken down and totaled.
This past weekend, Uber began charging “surge pricing.” This is implemented at certain times when demand is high. The company’s defense of these high prices is to ensure that there is always a ride available when a customer is in need of a lift.
From customer testimonies it seems that Uber is super quick to respond, faster than cabs, and most experiences were reported to be very good. The complaints were mostly about the pricing that averaged about $9.00-10.00 per mile during surge pricing periods. This is much higher than the going rate. But, if one is in a hurry, Uber might be the ticket.
Las Vegas cabs are regulated so their fares don’t go up and down. To give a perspective, a ride from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere, six miles (cabs take I-15 to avoid the many stop lights which adds two miles), would be $28.03 or about $4.66 per mile.
Those who are able to walk distances may never need to use any transportation services. The distance between Mandalay Bay, the southern boundary of the Strip to the Stratosphere Tower on the north end is about four miles. Vegas regulars will tell you that distances are very deceiving there so things aren’t as close as them may seem. Just a walk to the Casino next door can take 10 minutes or more. Keep in mind that as we enter the “hot” season in Vegas, the heat can drain your energy fast.