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December 22, 2014

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Taxicab Authority checkpoints to crack down on long-hauling

Image

Leila Navidi

A sign warns taxis of a Taxicab Authority Police long haul checkpoint near the entrance to the airport tunnel exiting McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Friday, June 8, 2012.

Long Haul Checkpoint

Taxicab Authority Police Senior Investigator I. Williams stop taxi driver Tesfaye Beshah at a long haul checkpoint near the entrance to the airport tunnel exiting McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Friday, June 8, 2012. Beshah got a ticket for long hauling. Launch slideshow »

The Nevada Taxicab Authority set up a checkpoint at McCarran International Airport today to discourage the illegal long-hauling of cab customers.

Long-hauling — taking cab riders on longer routes to generate a higher fare — typically occurs in Las Vegas when drivers leave McCarran for a Strip or downtown resort destination by way of the runway tunnel leading to Interstate 215.

Customers have complained that they’ve discovered they’ve been cheated after returning to the airport at the end of a trip and finding the fare was $5 to $20 less than when they left the airport.

Taxicab Authority Administrator Charles Harvey said the enforcement action would occur today and June 8 and continue intermittently after that.

The enforcement area is marked by an electronic sign board on a ramp from McCarran’s cab stand to the airport exit announcing a “Taxicab Authority Longhauling Checkpoint.”

Long-hauling is considered one of the Taxicab Authority’s biggest problems.

Some drivers have said they’ve cheated customers because they are under pressure from their bosses to generate more money. Cab drivers and owners publicly criticize long-hauling, but the large number of complaints suggests that it continues to be a chronic problem for the industry.

Taxi drivers are allowed to take longer routes if they first receive permission from the customer. Drivers often encourage the longer route because of traffic tie-ups on surface streets around McCarran in which cab wait times can generate fares that are nearly as high as the long route.

Cab fares are $3.30 for the initial activation of the meter, known as the “drop,” and then 20 cents per one-thirteenth of a mile ($2.60 a mile, which includes a 20-cent fuel surcharge).

If a cab is traveling less than 12 mph for more than 30 seconds, riders are assessed a “wait time” fee of 25 cents per 30 seconds, or $30 an hour. Trips starting at McCarran also are assessed an additional $1.80 fee.

The Taxicab Authority has a chart on its website that calculates the approximate fares for common taxi trips.

Harvey said the checkpoint was well-publicized for the first day to give owners notice and to give drivers an out if they were considering an illegal trip. But Harvey added that on Friday, his officers would have a zero-tolerance policy.

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  1. The Taxicab Authority has an awful lot to do to clean up the mess that is LV taxicabs. Period.

  2. My business associates and I were picked up at the Mirage once, heading to the Palms for dinner, and the cab driver for their vehicle, left two cars before us, made a left on LV Blvd, down to Spring Mountain and took the backroads to the Palms. We went the proper way right on LV Blvd to Flamingo, made it there in less than 5 minutes, and the other cab showed up about 15 minutes AFTER us! This long hauling thing is for real and something needs to be done. Now, every time one of these people flies into Vegas for a conference or show, they call me to get directions to their hotel so they can advise the cab driver exactly which way to go. Sad that this is the case....

  3. Hmmm...sooooo us leaving AFTER them from the Mirage and arriving 15 minutes before the other cab (which took those back roads) at the Palms is better...how? Also, the cab that took those back roads, just dropped people off, and my business partners jumped in that cab, so obviously he was aware of the traffic in the area. Thanks for the logical explanation trying to make me sound stupid though....

  4. It's all too common. I come to town 3-4 times per year, and I always tell the Cabbie which way to take. When I don't they almost always take the long way. So when that happens, I tell them there isn't going to a tip today. To my hotel It's about a $17 to $20 ride, anymore and no tip. To protect yourself look at the rates provided in this article.