Las Vegas Visitors Give Cab Companies Giant Middle Finger

Las Vegas visitors are fed up with unscrupulous taxi practices and aren’t going to take it any more.

Recent numbers released by the Nevada Taxicab Authority show taxi trips are down a whopping 19.2% year-over-year (November 2015 to November 2016).

That’s a drop of of more than 4.2 million riders, many looking to avoid price gouging and “long-hauling” (taking riders to their destination via longer, more expensive routes) by using rideshare services Lyft and Uber.

Taxi companies also say yearly revenue is down 13% since October of 2015.

Boo, meet hoo.

Boo, meet hoo.

While many taxi drivers operate ethically, a few bad apples have undermined trust in the Sin City taxi industry.

One example of an awful business practice on the part of taxis is a $3 fee for using a credit card to pay one’s fare. An audit claimed taxi companies overcharged riders $47 million in one year with gratuitous fees. Read more.

The arrival of Lyft and Uber in Las Vegas has shaken up a decades-old monopoly, and the taxi industry is scrambling to make sense of the skyrocketing demand for “convenient” and “reasonably-priced” transportation.

Lyft Line Las Vegas

Ridesharing services are truly a gyft.

Here’s to the continued success of Lyft and Uber in Las Vegas. When Lyft and Uber win, we all win.

Now’s a great time for cab companies to take a long, hard look at the way they do business. Rather than deflecting or blaming, it’s time to institute change and rehabilitate their badly tarnished image. It’s time to get a clue and transform the taxi culture of greed and being tone deaf to the needs of customers.

In Las Vegas, evolution isn’t optional, it’s essential to survival.

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  • FYMYAWF

    Agree. I think it’s a good thing to have multiple options in any market.

    I live in SF and the ride-share and taxi camps have come to more or less a simmering detente. I would imagine it will eventually shake out that way in Vegas too. The ideal would be for the long-haulers to get “capitalism’ed” out of the market, but I know the world doesn’t work that way.

    There are still times here in SF that I take a cab, for convenience or if I’m off the beaten Uber track. And despite the fact that I’ll be limo-ing to and from McCarran in a couple days I’ll probably use both Uber and taxis to get up and down the strip, based on what’s most convenient.

    It’s great that Vegas has the option now.

  • narsfweasels

    I got long-hauled last time, but I was so exhausted I didn’t do anything about it. Stupid, I suppose.

  • yetis911

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer lot. I would argue there are more than a few bad apples…. Happened AGAIN (for a guy who goes to Vegas 7-8 times a year), just last week. At the taxi stand. So how where are you going… Aria… How do you want to go? What do you recommend? The Highway… I’ll stop you right there. I come to Vegas 8-9 times a year, what do you recommend? …. I’ll take the normal way!

    That said, Uber is no joy in Vegas. People show up in their clown cars. I had to send an Uber away as there is apparently also no inspection of the cars used for Uber. How are three people supposed to fit in that?

  • baseballcraig

    I could not be a bigger fan of “Alternate Transportation Services” for Las Vegas. My transportation now consists of 75% Uber, 25% Cabs.

  • Lewmoore

    Out of my last few trips, I think I used a cab once. And that was just because one was right there when needed and we were in a hurry. I use Lyft and Uber almost exclusively, and prefer Lyft for the ability to tip on the app. I do want to try the Uber Pool when back next time and riding solo, as I hear it is a good savings. Lyft/Uber are not perfect, of course, as we had one terrible Lyft driver who didn’t know where he was going and was an awful driver. But, the system is pretty good about letting you report those people, get refunds, etc. Surely easier than dealing with the Taxi Authority, screw them!

  • Oscar

    During my trip this past summer I used Lyft exclusively. Great app, quick and fairly priced.

  • ElectricGypsy

    Not sorry for the cab companies at all.

    Radio stations, TV stations, newspapers and magazines have all taken it in the shorts due to the internet. Nobody feels sorry for those industries, and nobody thinks those industries are owed anything. Newspapers don’t have nearly as much content, because they don’t have the revenue to support it due to the drop in advertising in their papers. Radio stations still exist, but they rely upon far more pre-packaged and homogeneous content. Local radio stations don’t have the same local character because they use cheaper talent and rely less on local flavor and personality.

    Old fashioned national retail chains struggle thanks to the cheaper alternatives offered by Amazon. Nobody cries a tear for Target or Best Buy.

    When is the last time you called a travel agent to book a trip to Sin City? For me it has been more than 15 years. I wouldn’t know where to find a travel agent at this point.

    Now that the internet is accessible in the palms of our hands, companies have figured out better ways to provide taxi services without the customer being extorted by the cab companies. That’s a shame.

    There’s a place for cabs, they’re not going to disappear, but it’s time for the taxi industry to face the fact that their industry has been devalued and they’re not going to recapture that revenue. Learn to start doing more with less, and earning less for it, just like every newspaper and radio station in the country.

  • Photoncounter

    My daughter was coming in to town, I couldn’t pick her up, and had a comped room at the dreadful Luxor (Hey Dad, it’s free! No, its filthy and you pay resort fees. Once again I was correct!). Despite my warnings she took a cab but she asked for no tunnel. The driver explained that due to all the construction on Swenson, Tropicana and Boulevard it would be far cheaper to go the tunnel route.

    Of course there wasn’t any construction that way! She got held up in the tunnel and slow traffic merging onto I-15. Total cab ride? Almost $30! She left a small tip too. Stupid.

    No cabbie can defend this, all are corrupt. They may whine, yell otherwise but I bet 100% have taken advantage of young ladies and foreign tourists at some point. Uber/Lyft is sure exposing cabs for the frauds they are.

  • Brady Möritz

    but… *everything* in vegas is grossly overpriced and gouge-ey nowdays…