Hey friend! Steven here, your resident tech and data geek with a passion for gaming and streaming. I know you‘re planning an epic trip to Las Vegas soon and wondering – is the Las Vegas Monorail free to ride?
The short answer is no, the Las Vegas Monorail is not free. You need to purchase either a single ride ticket or unlimited daily pass.
But! There are definitely ways you can score discounts on Monorail passes or even ride for free occasionally. Let me walk you through everything I‘ve uncovered in my research so you can navigate the Monorail like a pro!
All About the Las Vegas Monorail
Let‘s start with an overview of the Monorail itself so you know exactly what it is and how it works.
The Las Vegas Monorail is a 3.9 mile long elevated train system that runs along the east side of the famous Las Vegas Strip. It conveniently connects several major hotels and casinos together.
Here are some key facts about the Monorail:
- Hours of Operation: Trains run from 7am until 3am, 365 days a year
- Number of Stations: There are 7 stations along the route
- Frequency: A new train arrives every 4-8 minutes during operating hours
- Speed: Top speed is 50 mph, and the end-to-end trip takes about 15 minutes
The 7 stations along the route are:
- MGM Grand
- Bally‘s/Paris Las Vegas
- Flamingo/Caesars Palace
- Harrah‘s/The LINQ
- Las Vegas Convention Center
- Westgate Las Vegas
- SAHARA Las Vegas
This allows you easy access to many top hotels, casinos, attractions, restaurants, and shopping spots along the east side of the Strip.
Now you may be wondering – why isn‘t the Monorail free if it helps people navigate up and down the Strip area?
Well, it costs over $600 million to construct the Monorail back in the 90s. And it costs an estimated $20 million per year to operate it – including labor, maintenance, electricity, insurance, and other expenses.
Fares from riders are needed to help fund those ongoing costs and keep the Monorail running smoothly 365 days per year.
But don‘t worry, I‘ve got all the insider tips to help you ride affordably or even score discounts and freebies!
Scoring Free Rides on the Monorail
Alright, first things first – here are all the ways you can potentially score free rides on the Las Vegas Monorail:
Stay at a Monorail Hotel
Several hotels connected by the Monorail offer complimentary passes to guests:
- MGM Grand: Provides a free single-ride ticket
- Westgate Las Vegas: Gives free unlimited 1-day Monorail passes
- Monorail Hotel Packages: Some bundled deals include Monorail passes
So be sure to check if your hotel offers this free perk when booking accommodations!
Pro Traveler Tip: Call ahead to confirm the free passes will be included, since hotel policies can change.
Join Players Clubs
Many casinos have free loyalty programs called players clubs. Members sometimes get complimentary Monorail single-ride passes.
Ask at hotel players club desks about availability when you arrive. This perk is more common during slower tourist seasons.
Visit on Special Holidays
To celebrate certain holidays, the Monorail offers free rides all day to the public:
- Independence Day (July 4th)
- Veterans Day (November 11th)
So if you happen to be in Vegas for either of those holidays, be sure to take advantage!
Keep an Eye Out for Promotions
The Monorail may offer special limited-time deals throughout the year with discounted ticket prices or promotional free rides.
Sign up on their website for email alerts so you never miss a deal!
Tips for Discounted Monorail Rides
If completely free rides aren‘t available during your visit, don‘t worry – you can still ride the Monorail on the cheap with these money-saving tips:
Buy an eTicket in Advance
Recently the Monorail rolled out new eTicket pricing when you purchase online in advance. The discounts are substantial:
|Up to 43% off
|Up to 45% off
Buying just a 1-day pass online vs. at the gate saves $14 – almost half off!
eTickets can be purchased on the Monorail website, mobile app, or even at station kiosks. I‘d recommend grabbing them online before your trip.
Pro Tip: eTicket pricing is only valid if purchased at least 2 hours in advance. So don‘t wait until the last minute!
Stack Other Discounts
Beyond eTickets, you can stack even more discounts if eligible:
- Kids: 5-12 years old get 50% off single rides and 1-day passes
- Seniors: 65+ receive 25% off all passes
- Military: Active duty and vets get 25% off
- Nevada Residents: Get reduced single rides and 1-day passes
- Late Night: Single rides are only $1 after midnight!
Ask about combo discounts like senior and military to save even more. Every dollar counts in Vegas!
Connect with Public Transit
The Monorail is great for the east side of the Strip. But buses and free trams can help you connect to stations:
- SDX & Deuce: These buses run 24/7 and stop near Monorail stations
- Free Trams: Connect MGM Grand, Bellagio, Monte Carlo, more to Monorail
I‘d recommend using transit to connect to stations when possible to maximize value from your passes.
Alternatives to Get Around for Free
I know riding the Monorail is super convenient for navigating the Strip‘s hotel corridor. But if you want to pinch every penny, there are free ways to get around Vegas too:
Ride the Free Strip Trams
Several hotels operate private shuttle trams that are free for anyone to use:
- Mandalay Bay Tram – Connects Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur
- Aria Express – Connects Park MGM, Crystals, Bellagio, Aria
- Monte Carlo Tram – Connects Park MGM, Aria, MC, Bellagio
These can help you access more hotels and casinos beyond the Monorail route.
Downtown Loop Shuttle
For exploring downtown Vegas and the Fremont Street area, use the Downtown Loop shuttle. It hits all the top spots at no cost.
Tip: The Deuce bus from the Strip is another affordable option at just $8 for a 24-hour pass.
Don‘t underestimate walking in Vegas – the Strip is only 4 miles long. Just wear comfy shoes and stay hydrated.
You can cover a lot of ground walking between hotels, sightseeing, popping in casinos, and catching free shows.
Use Rideshare Scooters
Apps like Lyft and Razor let you rent electric scooters by the minute. They‘re perfect for quick short hops between hotels and casinos.
Pro Tip: Rideshares scooters cost around $0.33 per minute – extremely affordable!
Getting to the Strip from the Airport
When you first arrive at McCarran International Airport, the Monorail unfortunately doesn‘t have a station there.
But it‘s still easy and affordable to reach the nearest stop at MGM Grand:
- Rideshare: Uber/Lyft costs around $15-20 per ride
- Shuttle: BellTrans is $7-9 per person
- Bus: RTC #109 bus is only $2 per ride
I‘d recommend the bus or rideshare for sheer affordability and convenience.
And pro tip – if traveling with others, a rideshare for 2+ people is often cheaper than the per-person shuttle.
Monorail vs. Other Transportation
So how does the Monorail stack up against other Vegas transportation options? Here‘s a quick comparison:
Convenience: Monorail is extremely convenient along the east Strip. But trains only run every 4-8 minutes, so you may wait a while.
Affordability: For single short trips, Uber/Lyft can be cheaper. But passes offer savings for all-day or multi-day sightseeing.
Speed: Avoiding Strip traffic is great. But factor in average wait time of 5 minutes per train.
Coverage: Monorail has limited route, skipping popular west side hotels. Buses, trams, walking provide more complete access.
No transportation option is necessarily better overall. The best approach is to utilize a mix based on where you want to go and maximizing value.
But for hassle-free travel along the main Strip corridor, the Monorail is a prime choice if you score discounts.
Common Monorail Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Las Vegas Monorail to help you plan your trip:
Does the Monorail go to the airport?
Unfortunately no. You‘ll need to take a bus, taxi, or rideshare to reach the nearest Monorail station at MGM Grand.
Does the Monorail stop at Fremont Street?
No, Fremont Street downtown is several miles north of the Monorail endpoint at the SAHARA station. Use the Deuce bus or Downtown Loop shuttle.
Is parking available at the stations?
Yes! Paid self-parking and valet is offered at all stops except Harrah‘s/The LINQ station. Rates vary per hotel.
Can I buy Monorail tickets in advance?
Absolutely! Purchasing eTickets online beforehand saves you up to 45% vs. at the gate. Get them on the website.
Do kids ride the Monorail free?
Kids under 5 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Kids 5-12 receive discounted youth tickets. Anyone over 12 pays full price.
Is the Monorail wheelchair accessible?
Yup! The stations and trains are fully ADA compliant with elevators and ramps. Wheelchairs under 30 inches wide are accommodated.
Let me know if you have any other Vegas transportation questions! I‘m always happy to help a friend navigate the lay of the land and save money.
Enjoy your awesome trip!