Lyft Now Operating At Las Vegas McCarran Airport

After a battle which has lasted for about a year, Uber & Lyft officially launched in Las Vegas in September.

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Last October, Uber unofficially launched in Las Vegas. When I say “unofficially,” I mean just that — they showed up, turned on the app, and basically decided they’d start giving people rides until they were told otherwise. Within hours of launching, Uber was shut down.

Then after months and months of politicking, the Nevada Legislature finally approved a bill making Uber & Lyft legal in Nevada as of May 2015. Nothing happens overnight when the government is involved, so it was September before the ridesharing apps were actually allowed to operate in Vegas.

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That’s long overdue, especially given that Las Vegas has one of the most corrupt taxi mafias out there. Unfortunately even though so many hurdles had been overcome, there were still two major restrictions:

  • Ridesharing apps couldn’t operate at Las Vegas McCarran Airport
  • Ridesharing apps weren’t allowed to pick up on The Strip

Last week the Clark County Commission said Lyft and Uber could begin the application process for operating at McCarran Airport. Well, it looks like Lyft beat Uber to the punch, as Lyft is now the first ridesharing service to be allowed to operate at Las Vegas McCarran Airport.

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Via TechCrunch:

“We’re proud to be the first ridesharing partner of McCarran International Airport,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement.

Uber has yet to officially offer rides to and from McCarran Airport, but says it’s dedicated to serving both riders and drivers at the airport in Las Vegas, and “continuing a thorough process with Airport Officials,” Uber Nevada General Manager Jason Radisson said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Our priority is to reach a resolution that ensures rider and driver safety along with the best user experience, as quickly as possible.”

It’s interesting to see Lyft beat Uber to the punch — I wonder what the hold up is on Uber’s end.

Bottom line

While I’m excited ridesharing apps are now finally able to operate at McCarran Airport, they still won’t be a “one stop shop” for getting around Las Vegas. They’re still not allowed to pick up on The Strip, so it seems they’ll mostly be useful for transport from the airport to The Strip, and then for transport from anywhere other than The Strip.

That’s certainly useful for some locals, but a lot less useful for visitors.

Has anyone used a ridesharing app in Las Vegas, since they launched last month?

Comments

  1. Having Lyft in Vegas was such an incredible score being “stuck” on the strip for eight straight nights due to three conferences back-to-back-to-back beginning of October…took over 20 rides. Each driver was professional, courteous and knew where the casino pickups were located. Went from casino to casino, downtown and to some other off strip spots. I definitely saved $$$ relative to cab pricing and only used Vegas cabs to/from the airport and one other time due to the lack of Lyft drivers (resulted in a cab where the driver was smoking and the AC did not work).

  2. We were in Vegas 2 weekends ago and used Uber. It was so much better than taxis. BTW, no one can pick up “on the strip” as in you cannot hail a taxi or Uber or Lyft directly on the street. They pick up at all the casinos in the same general location as the taxis. We never waited more than 3 minutes for pick up. Uber even took us to the airport-the driver did not display his Uber plaque in the window so he would not be fined.

  3. Hey Ben – Uber (and presumably lyft) can and do pick up from strip hotels. The prohibition is from them picking people up along the street itself, rather than at a hotel’s pickup area (which I think is the same thing as Taxis – taxis in Vegas can only pick up at taxi stands, and can’t take a typical “street hail”). I used Uber in Vegas myself about a week after launch and had no trouble requesting a car to pick me up from both Cosmopolitan and Treasure Island. I’m pretty sure Cosmopolitan even had a sign in their pickup area that said “ride sharing” or something like that.

  4. WONDERFUL NEWS! My worst cab experience in all my years visiting the US.. Was in Vegas!

    From the beginning, the taxi drove over a sidewalk in the airport to pick me up, the driver smelled awful, almost didn’t speak english.. Had no clear idea where my hotel was, when I spotted the hotel before him.. he made a U turn o a fast way that I would never dare to do even in my lawless country, then a freaking fee for the credit card use, the freakin TIP.. REALLY? and one of the most expensive cab rides I ever had in the US.

    Dude, that’s a long list!.. I almost feel embarrassed for the whole country for such a third world experience, I remember the taxi company name being a latin one, seems that these people are taking the “business ethics” from the latin world to the US.. And people, please don’t even try to bullshit me because I am from a latin american third world country and know exactly how business is done here.

    The owners of these companies should be deported, put in jail on shomething to say the least, the driver of my taxi really seemed to me like a slave, that shit most people like to criticize from UAE labor.. but in the almighty american soil!

    Sorry for the catharsis, it was THAT BAD….

  5. Lyft likely signed a terrible contract to be “first” assuming both companies received the same contract terms from the country. This is Las Vegas, after all, and I’m sure the contract is riddled with gotchas that Uber will negotiate harder on.

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