Vegas cab rides are hit and miss. There has long been discussion about being long hauled by a cab from McCarran Airport to whatever hotel you’re visiting and vice versa. Long hauling is being driven out of the way and charged more money than the trip should actually cost. It’s annoying and crooked. Long ago, I learned to say “No Tunnel” when taking a cab ride from the airport to make sure A) I got where I wanted quickly and B) I wasn’t overcharged.
Taxicab authority board member Dean Collins estimates that at least a third of the trips out of the airport go the long way, based on his discussions with people in the industry. Some drivers put the percentage of long haul rides at 50 percent or even 70 percent.
Being from New York City, I’m used to crazy cab drivers. I’m fine with crazy. Truthfully, I don’t care about the crazy ride as long as I get from A to B in one piece in the quickest time possible. Since fares are based on time and distance, my fare would usually be on point. New York City government has posted flat fares from the airport so that it isn’t so easy to take advantage of tourists.
Las Vegas doesn’t seem to care. This has been a growing problem for years and the government doesn’t do anything and the fact that the government lets this happen it’s disgusting. In an article this weekend in the Las Vegas Review Journal the person in charge won’t even discuss this matter. That tells me that its not important to him and not responding just says “I don’t care”.
Taxicab Authority administrator Charles Harvey, who took the position a year ago vowing to bring long hauling under control, declined to be interviewed for this article.
In Vegas I’m used to being driven out of the way and overcharged that normally doesn’t bother me all that much. It’s sucks, but I’m used to it.
This is a much bigger issue than resort fees at hotels to me. Even if it’s less costly, it’s sneaky and underhanded. There was a time where not all resort fees were disclosed, but that’s not the case any longer. Most people can do the math and figure out how much we’ll be charged. Getting into a cab is a mystery. A trip could cost $15 or $50 and you’ll never know in advance.
Driver Kellie Obong, for example, recalled being the second of two cabs ferrying a large group from the airport to Bellagio in December. She dutifully followed the first driver – to the Beltway, then south on I-15 to the Blue Diamond Road exit, before turning north on Las Vegas Boulevard, stretching a $15 fare without waiting time to $50.
This is disgusting and the Government won’t do anything about it. What can you do if you get long hauled? Here are a couple of quick tips:
- Take pictures of your cab and cab driver.
- Submit a complaint to the Nevada Taxicab Authority.
The more complaints submitted, the more the incentive for the government to do something about it. Help yourself and help your fellow Vegas travelers. Someone has to and it might as well be you (or me).