Trip to Strip, Southern Nevada public transit's ride-share service for small groups, is a laudable effort to alleviate traffic in the Las Vegas tourist corridor.
The pilot program was designed by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) for small groups looking to travel together for events such as conventions, meetings, weddings, birthdays and bachelor and bachelorette parties. Because it never charges surge prices -- increased fees at peak travel times -- Trip to Strip hopes to be a welcome alternative to other ride-share apps.
The vans, which can carry up to 11 passengers, boast "limousine-style" accommodations. They feature complimentary WiFi, USB ports for charging and space for luggage. Rides start at $6, and prices go up depending on the distance and the number of passengers. Customers pay only through the Trip to Strip app.
Trip to Strip is an attempt to regain revenue lost with the introduction of rideshare apps. Apps such as Uber and Lyft, a presence in Southern Nevada since 2014, have sharply cut revenue for public transit. In 2016-2017 there was a 12% decrease from the previous year in transit revenue on the Strip. The next year saw an additional 7% drop in revenue. That revenue, largely from tourists, helps finance public transit throughout the Las Vegas area.
"Trip to Strip is designed as an extension of our transit service on the Las Vegas Strip, but we do things Vegas-style," RTC CEO Tina Quigley said. "We know travel preferences are changing, and our tourists are looking for new mobility options. Trip to Strip is an affordable and dynamic response to evolving consumer needs, offering a transportation service unlike anything else."
Trip to Strip's range is from downtown Las Vegas in the north to the M Resort in the southern reaches of the valley, including the Las Vegas Strip corridor, the Las Vegas Convention Center and McCarran Airport. The service is provided around the clock.
Customer pickup and drop-off locations include existing RTC fixed route bus stops and designated RTC paratransit stops. The vehicles cannot access private property unless there is a Trip to Strip or paratransit sign posted on the property.
Riders can board with drinks in a closed container but are not allowed to smoke or vape while on board. No one under 18 is allowed without being accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire trip. Children who require car seats are not allowed to ride.
In addition to never charging surge prices, Trip to Strip is different in other ways from Uber and Lyft: It uses larger vehicles, some of which are ADA-compliant, and it has professional drivers employed by Keolis, the RTC's contractor and an international transit operator.
Several local leaders and project officials marked the launch of the service on June 25. Celebrities on hand included singer, comedian and impressionist Terry Fator, Chippendales dancers, "O" by Cirque de Soleil performers and former Las Vegas mayor and brand ambassador Oscar Goodman with Vegas showgirls.
New Trip to Strip users can receive 15% off their first ride using the promo code "FIRSTRIDE." The free Trip to Strip app is available in the Apple and Google Play store and is integrated with the Transit app used in more than 125 metropolitan areas worldwide.