Since all of our out-of-state visitors who are flying in will have to travel from McCarran Airport to the Rio Hotel or other hotel room at some point, I thought it might be helpful to explain what your options are and how much it may cost and the travel time involved. I should note I am a Las Vegas local who works in the transportation industry.
McCarran Airport directly to the Rio Hotel:
By Public Transportation:
RTC Transit [ is the sole public transportation provider in Southern Nevada. To travel from McCarran to the Rio, you will need to take two buses (one transfer). Make your way to Zero Level at McCarran Airport (signage may read “Ground Transportation” and look for the bus symbol), and find the RTC bus stop located beyond the last shuttle bays (after number 28 or 29). From this stop, board either Route 108 or Route 109 northbound* only*, whichever comes first. Ask to purchase a two hour pass from the bus driver for $3. Whichever route you board, you will need to deboard at Flamingo Road, which is a very major street located about two miles from the Airport. Once to Flamingo, board Route 202 westbound at the bus shelter located just west of the intersection. Route 202 operates with double-deck buses, so you can’t miss it. Route 202 will proceed to cross the Las Vegas Strip, and the next stop is right alongside the Rio Hotel.
Routes 109 and 202 operate quite frequently (108 a little less so), ranging from every 14 to 20 minutes, seven days a week, during most hours (service operates 24/7, although less frequently overnight). If you want to know specific times, you can always check rtcsnv.com for the route schedules or use the transit option in Google Maps.
Depending on your transfer connection and time of day that you are traveling, the total trip time from the Airport to the Rio will range from 30 to 60 minutes.
Taxicabs from McCarran are certainly plentiful. Just follow the signage at the Airport to the cab pick-up area. The NV [url=http://taxi.state.nv.us/FaresFees.htm]Taxicab Authority - Fares and Fees…](http://www.rtcsnv.com) estimates that the trip from the Airport to the Rio should cost approximately $15.61, not including tip; with tip, let’s call it $18. Make sure to tell the cab driver not to take the Airport Tunnel -this is known as “long hauling” and is an all-too-common tactic used by cabbies to charge more to unsuspecting visitors. Just tell the cab driver to use Swenson / Paradise to Flamingo. Note that up to four additional passengers (five total, plus driver) can ride for free in most cabs (some seat only four total). Your total travel time should be about 15-25 minutes.
The Rio website notes that there is a shuttle offered from the Airport, but there are few details offered about the frequency of service or cost. If the shuttle is available, it will also pick-up from the Zero Level at the Airport, near where the RTC Transit buses stop. If you happen to see a shuttle identified as serving the Rio, feel free to inquire about it, but I wouldn’t recommend planning this as your primary option.
Summary: Bus vs. Cab:
Bus: $3 per person
Cab: approximately $18 for up to 5 people
Whichever option you choose, multiply by two to consider your return costs to the Airport as well.
Total Travel Time:
Bus: 30 to 60 minutes
Cab: 15-25 minutes
Recommendation: depends largely on the size of your travel group and what you value most (time versus money). For someone traveling alone or with just one other person, the money saved by taking the bus could be very substantial, as much as $30 roundtrip for the solo traveler. However, the larger your group becomes, the more your savings on the bus versus cab will shrink.
McCarran Airport directly to Other Hotels:
By Public Transportation:
Visit rtcsnv.com for more information, or plug-in your trip to Google Maps using the Transit option. Generally, your best bet will be to use Routes 108 or 109 northbound to a major east-west street (Tropicana, Flamingo, Twain, Sahara, etc) and transfer to another route. Total cost will still be just $3 per person, and the travel time will usually still be under an hour. Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions.
Check Taxicab Authority - Fares and Fees… for estimated costs. Time should range anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes from the Airport to most Strip-area Hotels.
Hope this helps. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.