How Do Casinos Affect the Public Transportation System?
Usually, one of the most significant issues faced by regular gamblers is getting through heavy traffic and finding parking relatively close to a big casino complex entrance. Luckily, public transportation systems are one of the ways to overcome this problem.
Finding parking is the bane of any diehard gambler, and this is especially true when there are many casinos clustered close to one another. This grouping can mainly be seen in casino meccas such as Las Vegas, Macao, and Atlantic City. And it is in places like these that you come to appreciate the benefits of public transportation.
Why Are Casinos a Headache for Public Transport?
Previously, public transportation systems had specific peak times of operation. Most cities have public transportation gridlocks in the morning between 7 am and 10 am and evenings between 4 pm and 7 pm. The remainder of the time, public transportation systems are relatively easy to travel on. Also, the transportation cost is cheaper if you use public transport rather than drive to and from work and other places.
However, casinos manage to throw a spanner in the works of any public transportation system. In reality, casinos have no peak time. The busier times at casinos are often the result of the entertainment available. For example, if there is a poker tournament going on, casino traffic is expected to be busy.
If a concert takes place at a casino, it is also likely to be packed. Casinos have people streaming in and out at any time of the day or night. This is because gambling houses remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, transportation engineers find it difficult to predict traffic, especially in high-traffic casino districts.
As global gambling magnets, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Macao handle the public transportation system uniquely. Here is how each one does it:
Las Vegas’s issue is that many of its best offerings aren’t interconnected. For example, people who enjoy the Strip never leave their hotels, and much less the area. At the moment, if you wish to get outside the Strip, you have to drive there. Furthermore, the traffic on the Strip is infamously bad, and the bus system is challenging to navigate.
To get out of this predicament, Las Vegas is planning to develop a light rail system to connect the Strip, downtown, and the Arts District, thus boosting these areas’ tourism potential and making it easier for locals to get around.
From Atlantic City airport, there are several choices to get to a casino. Taxi and ride-share services are available, and you can also catch a train, with New Jersey deploying this mode of public transport to reduce the number of cars on its congested highways.
There are also bus services available across Atlantic City, including buses that drive from casino to casino and the airport. Another popular service is the jitney, a small bus that connects all the casinos along the Boardwalk. Jitney is also available to take passengers to the convention centre and the entertainment district of Marina.
In the past, Macao’s casinos catered exclusively to high rollers, who flew directly into the casino area. Sometimes, the casinos gave them a lift from the airport in a limo. However, with the economic downturn, Macao is looking at other transportation sources. Recently, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge was opened, the largest sea bridge globally. Macao estimates that the addition of the bridge will increase car and charter bus traffic.
Because it lies on a peninsula, Macao is also served by a ferry from Hong Kong. Now, there is also a bus service to the casinos from the ferry port. In the future, the territory is looking to enhance train and bus services across the peninsula since, until recently, Macao was cut off from the main public transport networks that the rest of China has access to.