Wheelchair Accessible Las Vegas Monorail
by Kent R. Davies
© 2007 

           

Kent R. Davies, of Phoenix, Arizona, shares what it's like to navigate the Las Vegas Strip on their new Monorail.

 

Las Vegas (www.visitlasvegas.com) annually attracts 40-million visitors expecting to enjoy the Las Vegas Strip’s most exciting attractions to the max; but the Strip’s four-plus miles and gigantic scale soon becomes an impediment.  A visitor may start out for a short stroll to what seems a close by casino only to discover it is a very long slog away. 

 

Getting around the famous Las Vegas Strip involves riding the accessible trolley buses (www.lasvegasstriptrolley.com) that are often crowded, and/or maneuvering through ever worsening traffic snarls. Casino owners and the local government knew that many visitors were becoming very frustrated with the traffic hassle; so they built a privately financed and fully accessible, air-conditioned monorail system to efficiently move visitors up and down the Strip.
 

Julie Wysocki, a widely traveled wheelchair user living in Seattle, Washington, finds the Las Vegas monorail (www.lvnvmonorail.com) “fully accessible, easy to get on and off with designated spaces for two w/c’s." It has a roomy interior with enough space to maneuver without running into the other passengers. You can cover a lot of ground with little effort or loss of battery power. The distance between casinos can be daunting, even for a power w/c.  I can't imagine,” Julie advises, “going to Vegas in a manual w/c, and not using the monorail.  Also, it keeps you off the crowded sidewalks and out of the strip’s construction zones.”
 

The automated Las Vegas Monorail covers its four-mile, seven-station route in just fourteen minutes at speeds up to 50 mph.  Averaging twenty feet above the ground the monorail is capable of moving thirty-two thousand passengers daily.  Each train seats seventy-two passengers with standing room for an additional one-hundred and fifty-two riders. 

 

The monorail features the first fully-automated control network system for driverless operation, and incorporates fail-safe protection throughout the software and equipment; making it one of the world’s most technologically advanced urban transportation systems. 

 

“The monorail is a more pleasant ride, Julie found, “than jerking and bumping over uneven roads in a shuttle.”  The monorail operates 365 days a year from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Sunday.  It is estimated that the monorail significantly improves air quality by annually eliminating up to 135 tons of carbon monoxide.
 

Monorail tickets are available in advance at the monorail’s Web site; at automated, touch-screen ticket vending machines (TVMs) or at customer service booths at the monorail stations; as well as at TVMs at various locations within the station resort properties.  Tickets are also available at the Las Vegas Hilton and Sahara Hotel ticket box offices and at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the central and south halls. “The fares for the monorail,” Julie recommends, “are “well worth it, especially if your stay is limited and you want to see a lot in a short period of time.”

 

Although the monorail is undoubtedly very convenient for the majority of Strip attractions with most stops adjacent to major casinos, the distances between some of its stations and major casinos/resorts can be a trek. Those casinos/resorts located on the west side of the Strip are going to be farther than those located at monorail stations or east of the strip. 
 

Users love the monorail’s convenience. Julie and her husband, Paul, a scooter user, were “definitely able to see and do more.  We traveled the length of the Strip, whereas before we pretty much stayed in the same area as our hotel/casino.”

 

Monorail routes and fares are available at http://www.lvmonorail.com/ride/faqs/

 

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