Cab, Shuttle, Rent Or Ride Share?
September 5th, 2018 by Proprietor
Las Vegas is the place I most frequently travel to. Wrote multiple blog posts (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) about the city, and most recently I wrote a blog about air travel delays. When I have travelled to Las Vegas, I have used various methods to get to my hotel/resort, and recently when I travelled to Boca Raton for training, I did a completely different method to get to the hotel.
There are multiple ways to get from the airport to your hotel. I will focus on Las Vegas, because of the frequency and diverse methods I have used. Taxi cabs are the standard and most used method of travel. McCarran International Airport has a massive taxi area for people to queue up and get taxis. The operation is very extensive, and well run. Depending on how busy the taxi area is, it might take a few minutes to a half hour, but you will get a taxi. Unfortunately over the years I have soured on taxis. I was long hauled a few times, and after that, I moved to alternative methods. The only time I now use taxis is getting from one hotel to another.
The method I switched to was shuttle buses. Some off strip properties have shuttles that travel from the airport to their hotel, but you have to check the websites of the hotel to find the route schedule. At McCarran there is several shuttle services that take people to hotels on the strip. Strip hotels cannot offer shuttle service due to various laws. One reason given is that the various shuttles from every hotel would add to the massive traffic problems at McCarran. I used a shuttle the first time I went to Las Vegas, and that turned me off completely for a long time. At the time of my first trip, pre-cellphone, it was a very basic set up. You purchased a shuttle ticket, and the driver told you when to wait for the shuttle, because the shuttle was supposed to arrive at the hotel regularly at a specific time. When I waited at the shuttle stand at the appointed time, the shuttle never came, and I had to get a taxi.
Now shuttle services are far more sophisticated and with modern smartphones, very convenient. A round trip shuttle ticket is less than $20. Which is cheaper at times than ride share services, like Uber or Lyft, and far less expensive compared to a cab. The last shuttle I used when I was in Las Vegas cost $17 round trip. $8.50 per trip. Uber and Lyft were charging $13 for the same trip and a cab cost $15, that was before tip. When it came to tipping the shuttle driver, I handed the driver a dollar each way, so tip was an extra $2 overall. Uber, Lyft and the cab expect a minimum of 15% as a tip, and it worked out to a minimum of $3. Unless something happens that sours me to using shuttles, I will continue to use them to get from the airport to hotel in Las Vegas. Unfortunately shuttles are not available at many airports, so you have to check, and sometimes they are expensive. There were shuttle service option from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton, but they were as expensive as taxis. Though the Uber seemed to be costly.
Ride shares such as Uber and Lyft are now being more frequently used. For the training trip I took to Boca Raton, I used Uber to get from the airport to the hotel and when I got home, from the airport to my house. It was convenient, and I will use either when it comes to getting to and from one destination to another. When I am in Las Vegas though, using either ride share service to get from the airport to hotel is only an option of last choice. It still seems a bit disconcerting to me to get into someone’s car to get home or go from point A to point B, but it is really no different than a cab. A stranger is picking you up and dropping you off. To be honest, I cannot really say if Uber or Lyft are less expensive. Friends and family who frequently use ride shares claim there is a definite costs savings and convenience factor.
Then there is ultimately the rental car. I have rented a car in Las Vegas, the first time was the last time. Las Vegas traffic is not terrible compared to a lot of cities, until you hit the strip. Then it is gridlock. When traffic is busy on the strip or even on side roads, it is a headache. Also, with a rental, you have to park it, and walk to where ever you are going. Unless you valet, which is no longer free in Las Vegas, and parking is no longer free as well, with a rental car you seldom get the door to door convenience of ride shares or taxis.
Rental cars are also exceptionally expensive. There is the daily rental fee, taxes (usually doubling the actual cost), and gas costs. You have to fill the tank or pay a fee. If you have no idea where you are going, then a GPS or your cellphone has to be used.
There are many methods to get from point A to point B when it comes to travel. Taxis are usually the more costly option, and may not be available in smaller cities. Shuttle services are costly, and not often available option as well. Rental cars can be available, but if your flight is delayed, you might not be able to get the car from the service. Uber and Lyft are the most often frequently convenient and available service, but then again, it depends on where you travel.
These days, it is best to research where you are going. Most major cities in the US and even in the world have all the convenient transportation methods available. It depends on your tastes and what you want to do. When my brother and his wife went to Italy, he had prearranged for shuttle services to pick him and his wife up at the hotel and bring them to the airport. It was not cheap, but it was safe and reliable. Friends have used taxis to get from the airport to hotels in major cities like New York, and have spent $$$ to do so. Yet, the door to door convenience was worth the effort. Co-workers who frequently travel recommended ride shares. For me, unless I travel to somewhere other than Las Vegas, I will keep using shuttles or taxis.
Thanks for stopping by.