When ever I have conversation with friends coming into Vegas, especially visitors from the East Coast, I have a bunch of warnings for them when taking taxi cabs. The first thing you really need to grasp is that taxi cab drivers are driving to make money… not do you a favor. So don’t expect them to “do you a favor” because they won’t.
“Long Hauling” from McCarran Airport – This is a little trick cab drivers pull on unsuspecting tourists when they pick up at the airport and drop them off at a hotel on The Strip. The cab driver will tell you that it is faster to take the highway (Interstate 15) because there’s no traffic. Although it’s true there’s no real traffic it is a longer route and thus adds dollars (any where between $4 – 7 ) to your cab fare. If you are being dropped off at a Hotel on Strip tell your driver to take either Swenson Street or Paradise Road to Tropicana, you can make a left onto to Tropicana and either take Koval Lane for the Hotels on the east side of The Strip or go past Las Vegas Blvd to Frank Sinatra Drive for the west side of The Strip hotels. Both of these roads are usually pretty clear and get you to your destination much faster. If you are traveling during any rush hour times… you are “shit out of luck” fo rthe most part. Still stay on these roads because they will still get you wherever you have to be faster than any other route. If you believe you are a victim of “Long Hauling” download this Complaint Form or fill out this Online Affidavit
For my East Coast & Chicago Friends – Las Vegas has a very, and I mean very strict law about taxi cabs picking people up willy nilly… or to my New York friends, “Hailing a Cab”. There is no hailing a cab in Las Vegas. It is absolutely illegal for a cab driver to pick an individual up from Las Vegas Blvd or Fremont Street. Therefore, to obtain a cab, individuals must call to request one but most major hotels and restaurants have areas where taxicabs wait to pick up passengers.
Some taxicabs do not accept credit cards for payment. Therefore, riders should carry cash or double check with the cab driver before getting in the cab. At the beginning of your ride, an initial charge of $3.30 is made. An additional $1.20 is charged for rides originating at McCarran International Airport (just because). Standard fare is $2.20 per mile. If the taxicab is moving less than eight to 12 mph, the taximeter changes from measuring distance to measuring time and assesses 20 cents for every 25.7 seconds. According to the Taxicab Authority, tipping the cab driver is optional. Sin City Tip: If your have a really cool cab driver get his card or phone number and use him for all your trips. Every time I know I’m going to be drinking and I want to go to The Strip or Fremont Street I either get a Driver which I will talk about in another post or call Gary at: 702.542.3037. He is without a doubt the most honest and best cab driver I have met in Vegas.
Vegas Newbies – Never and I mean never tell any one, especially a cab driver that this is you first time to Las Vegas. Once these words are uttered it is most certainly an opportunity for you to be taken advantage of. If you are a “Vegas Virgin” shut up and keep it to yourself.