UPDATE: at 4:44pm Pacific time from the Las Vegas Sun:
“Multiple drivers cited within hours of Uber launch“
The story goes on to say “Uber’s Las Vegas honeymoon has been short: Three of the ridesharing company’s drivers were cited by taxicab regulators within hours of its launch today. Nevada Taxicab Authority spokeswoman Teri Williams said as of 3:30 p.m., three Uber drivers in Las Vegas and one in Reno have been cited for illegally offering rides for hire.“
Uber, the taxi-alternative that bills itself as a technology platform to connect people seeking rides, is set to pick up it’s first passengers in Las Vegas this afternoon. Uber says it will initially be focusing on areas away from the Las Vegas Strip and Las Vegas International Airport, however Uber said it would be willing to drop off in those locations. Service is also starting in Reno today, which is listed as Uber’s 223 city, while Las Vegas listed as Uber’s 224th city.
For months, taxi cab companies in Las Vegas have fought Uber, saying their service is illegal in Nevada. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
To the Taxicab Authority’s enforcement staff, Uber drivers are like any other illegal operator. The authority oversees Clark County’s 16 taxi companies and monitors cab operations, mostly along the Strip and at the airport.
But to Uber management, the company is a technology platform that connects people who need rides to drivers who can provide them. They say they aren’t a transportation company and the drivers who will operate in Southern Nevada are independent contractors who sign an agreement that enables them to use the company’s app, which also provides electronic payments from the passenger to the driver.
In the meantime, Uber is starting with it’s uberX low cost ride sharing service since Uber Black involves luxury town cars and in Nevada because state law requires those vehicles to be booked at least an hour in advance and to include a minimum fare. Neither of those requirements fits in Uber’s current business model. uberX, which bills itself as better, faster, and cheaper than a taxi, posted these sample fares which focus on areas away from the airport and the Stip to its Las Vegas city blog:
- UNLV to Downtown Las Vegas: $13-17
- UNLV to Downtown Summerlin: $34-45
- Downtown Las Vegas to Downtown Summerlin: $36-48
- Downtown Las Vegas to Henderson: $39-52
- Henderson to Summerlin: $63-84
Most think competition is good, unless you are a taxi cab driver in Las Vegas or Reno. I think it’s only a matter of time before Uber expands it’s presence at the Las Vegas airport and on the Las Vegas strip, but it won’t be without a fight from taxi cab companies. Has anyone used an Uber in Las Vegas yet? We would love to hear about your experience. Feel free to use my Uber link where you will get your first ride free up to $30.