Taxicab Authority warns drivers about long hauling

LAS VEGAS - Strong words Thursday from the Nevada Taxicab Authority.

The board chair warned industry leaders if they don't do something about a long criticized practice, the board will.

Long hauling is when a taxi driver takes a passenger from the airport to the Las Vegas strip through the tunnel on the freeway instead of what is often a shorter route.

Thursday, the Taxicab Authority showed it was short on patience for long hauling.

"It didn't take long. About 10 minutes," said tourist Tia Wilson.

When Wilson landed in Las Vegas last night, a small part of her research evaporated. She planned to ask her cab driver to avoid the tunnel.

"We didn't do that. I forgot when we got here." 

She didn't mind the trip from McCarran to the Luxor which cost around $30.

"She mentioned something about it, but she said, because of the traffic she was going to take another way." 

Long hauling is well-known in Las Vegas. As far back as 2012, the I-Team profiled the practice. It's when taxi drivers take passengers through the airport tunnel and onto the freeway rather than using surface streets...to get to the Strip.

An audit last year showed riders were overcharged $47 million.

"I'm going to put this out to you one final time," said Stan Olsen, Nevada Taxicab Authority.

Evidently, the Nevada Taxicab Authority board has had enough.

"You better come up with a plan on how to address this long haul, because I'm telling you now, it's a criminal act, and we're not going to be nice about it," Olsen said.

He told an audience of taxi industry members if they can't find a solution to long hauling, the authority will. A likely cure could be zone fares which would give parts of the valley different preset rates.

"It takes care of the long haul," Olsen said. "Doesn't matter which way you go, this is the only price it will be. How to do it is not yet set. Discussion that puts it on the table is well underway." 

Board members will discuss this again next month.

Wilson will keep an eye on how she gets to the airport when her vacation is over.

"If we did our research and we thought about it a bit more, we probably could've been a bit smarter. But it was there and it was easy," she said.

The Taxicab Authority reported more than 100 calls for long hauling last month.

8 News NOW tried several times to reach the livery operators association in Las Vegas which represents taxi companies, but has not heard back yet.
 

 


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