Uber’s first attempt at serving customers in Las Vegas and Reno lasted just a couple of hours on Friday afternoon, until at least five Uber drivers were cited with up to $10,000 fines and vehicles impounded for transporting people without a license. Combine that with the action of the states attorney general, and Uber gets a temporary shut down according to the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Carson City District Judge James Russell blocked Uber from offering any rides in the state through at least Nov. 7. A hearing is set for Nov. 6.
The state’s attorney general sought the temporary order late Friday afternoon.
State and county taxi officers also were trying to stop the Uber drivers earlier in the day, but managed to do so on a much smaller scale.
On Friday afternoon, at least five drivers — four in Las Vegas and one in Reno — had been cited by regulators, according to Teri Williams, spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Business and Industry. Those drivers face fines of up to $10,000, Williams said.
Uber western region spokeswoman Eva Behrend said in an email Friday that the company will pay the fines, at least for now.
“Uber vigorously defends the rights of our partner drivers and firmly stands by them when they are wrongly cited or impounded. We will cover any financial or legal costs associated with these unjust actions,” she said.
But she did not respond to an email seeking comment on the court action.
Uber may be betting on Las Vegas, but the only thing guaranteed is going to be a nasty fight between the taxi cab owners/operators versus the well-capitalized Uber organization. Both sides will have their day in court on November 6th, and it will be interesting to see if a day is enough to solve this contentious, high stakes dispute.