A couple of nights back I was talking to a friend who works at a Fremont East bar. We were lamenting the fact that so many of Downtown’s weekend visitors don’t see the area as all of a piece, like we do: As far as they’re concerned, places like the Huntridge Tavern and Velveteen Rabbit aren’t really part of Downtown Las Vegas at all. She noted that Velveteen Rabbit is only a mile from Fremont East, a mere six minutes’ drive (with a designated driver, of course). And I added that they were only 20 minutes apart by bus; all you need to do is hop the southbound Deuce at Neonopolis, exit at Las Vegas Boulevard at 4th Street, and walk three blocks. Easy as double-decker pie.
She shook her head. “People don’t take buses in this town. They think they’re too good for it.”
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that. I’ve even said it more than once, in the process of exercising my right to be a snob who enjoyed 10 years living in another city (Seattle) where “transit” isn’t a dirty word. I have evangelized for the Las Vegas bus system, which is very good and steadily improving, and I’ve added my voice to the the crowd clamoring for light rail in this town—though I recognize that even if we receive federal funding for light rail tomorrow, it’ll be at least a decade before we can take our first ride on it. The buses are what we have now.
So, I’d like to open this up. I’m not going to tell you why the buses in this town aren’t nearly as scary as you might think they are, nor am I going to go over the financial benefits of taking them. I’ll simply ask this question: What would it take for you to get on a bus in this town, just once? What’s holding you back?
Tell us below, and be brutally honest. Maybe, if we work through some stuff, we can get a group together for No Pants Transit Day. Oh, yes. That’s a thing.
PHOTO BY GEOFF CARTER