An alternative mode of transportation to McCarran International Airport was introduced Monday when dignitaries gathered to celebrate the opening of the Westcliff Transit Center at the corner of Durango and Westcliff drives.
Regional Transportation Commission members touted the new Westcliff Airport Express line, which will depart every 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day. The commission changed the name of their ACE line to "express" in August after Ace Cab Inc. filed a trademark infringement lawsuit.
The airport express might lead passengers to believe that the service travels nonstop to the airport when actually there are five stops along the route.
The Westcliff Express originates from the Suncoast and then stops at the Westcliff Transit Center.
Then, the bus takes Summerlin Parkway to U.S. Highway 95, travels in the high-occupancy vehicles lanes to downtown where it makes stops at the Fremont Street Experience, the Bonneville Transit Station and the Premium Outlets. It then hops on Interstate 15 to Tropicana Avenue, where one more stop is made at Tropicana and the Strip.
Jacob Snow, general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission, said the trip to the airport should take 38 minutes, although officials suggested earlier that the ride would take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour.
Snow said the new route is in response to passengers' desires.
"They want to go there (the airport) fast. They want to be safe, and they want to be comfortable in the process," Snow said.
The Westcliff park-and-ride offers 24-hour security and 140 parking spaces. The commission worked with McCarran officials and representatives of the Suncoast hotel-casino, which offered space for a park-and-ride lot.
There is no cost to park, and the one-way fee to the airport is $2. Local residents will be allowed to ride free between Dec. 17 and Christmas Eve.
"One of the fundamental services cities can provide is transportation," said Las Vegas City Councilman Steven Wolfson. "This is what we are in the business of doing."
The Westcliff Transit Center is the third new transportation center to be introduced by the transportation commission this year. An express line was introduced at Centennial Hills in March and the downtown hub, the Bonneville Transit Center, opened in October.
Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at apacker@review journal.com or 702-387-2904.