By Steve Beauregard
There are two buses that can take you from the Strip to the classic old school vibe of downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street: The Deuce, and the Strip Downtown Express, or “SDX” for short.
The Deuce is the very popular bus line that runs up and down the Strip, and while it’s great for casino hopping on the Strip, it’s not so good for heading downtown.
Therefore, when heading to downtown Las Vegas, take the SDX, rather than the Deuce. Although they have similar prices and the same buses, the difference between the SDX and the Deuce is that the SDX has fewer stops, and thus, takes less time to get downtown.
The SDX is the fastest way from the Strip to downtown Fremont Street
Please also note that the Las Vegas bus system doesn’t have a stop directly on Fremont Street. The closest stop is just one block south of Fremont, on a street called Carson Avenue. The stop is almost directly across the street from the Golden Nugget, and while parts of downtown Las Vegas are definitely sketchy, this stop is close enough to the Nugget and all the action that I consider it a safe walk. (It’s a two minute walk from this bus stop to Fremont Street, says the mapping systems, however in reality, the Golden Nugget is catty-corner from this stop.)
SDX Bus to Freemont Street – Schedule and Stops
The SDX runs from 9 AM to Midnight, seven days a week. Buses run every 15 minutes during this time. The Deuce runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so if you find yourself on Fremont Street after midnight, needing to get back to the Strip, you’ll still be able to catch a bus.
(Go here to get the schedule for the Fremont Street Experience show times).
Going to old Downtown Las Vegas from the Strip
(Here in yellow, are all of the exact SDX stops when going north from the Strip to Fremont Street. I personally double-checked these with maps and aerial maps. You can enlarge this to find the exact location of the stop you need.)
Unlike the Deuce, which has stops everywhere on the Strip, the SDX has just six bus stops on the Strip (there are other stops north of the Strip), when you’re looking to hop on it to go to Fremont Street.
SLS Las Vegas
Most people consider the Strip to cover the area on Las Vegas Boulevard from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere, so these stops do not include others not on the Strip, such as the stop in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Town Square Mall Las Vegas – the lovely outdoor shopping plaza about 1 and 1/2 miles south of Mandalay Bay.
Here are some estimated travel times from different Strip hotel SDX stops to old downtown Las Vegas:
A ride on the SDX bus from Mandalay Bay to Fremont Street would take you around 35 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
MGM Grand: 32 – 35 minutes
Taking the SDX from the stop in front of the Paris Hotel and Casino (which is directly across the street from the Bellagio) to Fremont Street would take about 30 minutes.
Wynn: 20 to 25 minutes.
Going to the Strip from Fremont Street on the SDX
The southbound stops are very similar to the northbound stops in terms of location. They are on the opposite side of the Strip of course.
When headed to the Strip, (going south in other words), the SDX stops at (or across the street a little walk from), the following Strip hotels:
SLS Las Vegas
Fashion Show Mall – (the stop for the Wynn, Venetian, and T.I. among others)
Excalibur – (the stop for MGM Grand, New York – New York, Monte Carlo among others).
Again, while not part of the Strip, the SDX does continue south of Mandalay Bay to the Town Square Mall on Las Vegas Boulevard, as well as the LV Premium Outlets South.
Cost to take the Bus from the Strip to Fremont Street
Whether taking the SDX or the Deuce, the price of a bus ticket is just the same:
A 2 hour unlimited ride pass is $6
The 24 hour pass is $8
A three day pass is $20, which is less than you would pay for a one-way taxi ride from the Strip to Fremont Street.
Deuce to Fremont Street
Taking the Deuce from the Strip to old downtown Las Vegas, (Fremont Street) can be a minor form of hell – especially in summer. From the Flamingo to Fremont, it took my wife and I just under an hour one time.
The combination of a crowded ride, strange people, numerous stops, and an air conditioner that was not functioning to the level I would prefer (32 degrees), made what started out as a fun adventure turn quickly into a slow painful death. Unless it involves a lot of walking to the nearest SDX stop, your best option is to always take the South Downtown Express.