Just got back from Vegas, and what a time to miss commuting on Metro-North: tales of submerged stations, hour delays, and people hitching rides to the city with Noah and his furry friends, as the bearded one’s ark made its way down the Bronx River Parkway.
A few commuter-oriented notes from Sin City: For all Jet Blue’s talk about the passenger’s bill of rights after its horrid P.R. hit following February storms, you don’t see any mention of it at the airport–it’s not posted anywhere as you check in, the support staff doesn’t mention it, and you don’t see it on board (at least I didn’t).
That said, Jet Blue is still head and shoulders better than the rest of the airlines. Thanks to a truly dismal performance by our corporate travel agent, I was given middle seats both ways. I got on the horn with Jet Blue to have it changed, and was told both ends of my trip were sold out. Still, JB got me aisle seats both ways, on two packed flights.
And in terms of Vegas itself, I can’t rave enough about the new monorail (new in the sense that it wasn’t there when I was last in Vegas some seven years ago). It runs a few blocks below the Strip, behind most of the big resorts, and pulls right into several of them. It’s $5 for a single ride, $9 for a round trip, runs until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 on weekends, and even has its own publication, a pocket-size monthly called Monorail (granted, it’s no Mileposts).
I asked my cabbie, a garrulous blonde woman from Bulgaria named Debbie Angel (I know, I know, a stripper’s name) who told me I look like Bill Gates (I don’t), if many people commute via the monorail. “Noooo,” she said with a vigorous shake of the head. “Too expensive.”
Even with the escalating price of gas, not to mention the traffic in a city that seems to double in population every year, she says people prefer to drive.
“It’s for tourists,” said Debbie Angel.
Another cool aspect of Vegas, from a commuter standpoint: You can go from the airport to the strip on 15 minutes, about how long it took me to walk from the Hilton across the street to the Riviera.