Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:30 am.
Last update on: April 26th, 2021, 10:45 am.
Nevada officials have confiscated 40 illegal cars and issued quotes to drivers in the past few months. Most worked on the Las Vegas Strip or McCarran International Airport.
Passengers go to the McCarran Airport waiting area for legal ridesharing in 2017. Lately, delays and driver shortages have resulted in illegal riders working on the Las Vegas Strip and at the airport. Quotes were issued. Cars were confiscated. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The illegal drivers asked the passengers to pay in cash and did not use the app. The drivers were accused of unlawful transport. This is a violation of the Clark County Code.
The quotes come when Las Vegas passengers have to wait a long time for legal ridesharing. In order to take advantage of the delays and the legal driver shortage, illegal drivers offer rides at the airport or along the strip.
Data provided to Casino.org by the Nevada Transportation Authority and the Nevada Taxicab Authority shows illegal drivers have been cited every month since January.
In January and February there were both five quotes. It was 14 in March. Last week in April it was 16. Further quotations are possible.
Enforcement officials have encountered drivers working outside the app, ”Teri Williams, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Commerce and Industry, told Casino.org. “Your enforcement efforts are mostly focused on the airport and the strip resort corridor.”
Williams warns that such drivers “will be caught soliciting or transporting passengers outside of the app and getting a quote for up to $ 10,000 and having their vehicle confiscated at an additional cost.”
This month, McCarran airport officials tweeted not to use these unlicensed ridesharing facilities.
Be safe when you leave the airport. Never accept a ride from someone approaching you in the terminal or garage. Instead, look for your taxi in the waiting lines near the baggage claim area or use the official apps @Lyft or @Uber to arrange a lift. pic.twitter.com/z4jtb8Kkkr
– McCarran Airport (@LASairport) April 8, 2021
In the past few months, there has been a shortage of Uber and Lyft drivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to McCarran spokesman Joe Rajchel.
Lack of lifts
He said that during peak hours, airport officials increased monitoring of ridesharing in McCarran. The airport has also put up warning signs and reminders that passengers should only accept trips booked through Uber or Lyft apps, Rajchel said.
Unfortunately, we see people trying to capitalize on the lack of cars on the road and offering travelers rides outside of the official ridesharing apps, ”Rajchel told Casino.org.
One scheme used by these illegal drivers is to claim they canceled a ride that was canceled and then offer a cash ride to those in the waiting area, Rajchel told KVVU, a local television broadcaster.
Illegal journeys raise safety concerns
Williams also described illegal traffic as a “safety concern”.
Williams said legal drivers are required to undergo a background check, purchase ridesharing insurance, and complete a basic vehicle inspection, Williams said.
With the help of an app, passengers can also check whether the driver “has a good reputation and is who he says he is,” explained Williams.
If drivers using ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft are unavailable, passengers should use alternative licensed modes of transport like taxis, limousines or shuttles, Williams said.
Earlier this month it was announced that Las Vegas is one of the US cities with “severe” hail service shortages, the Financial Times reported.
Several drivers say it’s the payment. Companies blame the delays in picking up passengers in part from the price restrictions that may be charged.
The amount paid in unemployment checks has also been reported to discourage former drivers from returning to work. Many former drivers also avoid driving passengers because they are concerned about the risk of COVID-19.
Since the pandemic, some drivers have opted for food delivery, according to the Financial Times.
As of March 30, Nevada had 13,723 active drivers published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This corresponds to 36,482 on March 13, 2020.
Last week, the KVVU reported that only about half of the trips requested on Uber in the Las Vegas area are completed. The situation comes when the number of passengers using McCarran increases.
The airport recorded 2.6 million passengers last month. That’s 25 percent more than 2 million passengers in March 2020. That’s 60 percent more than 1.6 million passengers in February 2021, the Review Journal reported, based on data from the Clark County Department of Aviation.