With Uber and Lyft drivers in short supply in the Las Vegas Valley, some residents are now taking advantage of the situation illegally.
It was reported on social media that drivers pretending to be Uber and Lyft drivers in the pick-up areas of McCarran International Airport, offering rides that are not timed with the company’s apps.
Lyft driver and Twitter user BobbyGsGambling tweeted Wednesday night that he saw people posing as hail drivers in front of their cars offering cash rides while picking up at McCarran Terminal 3.
“Total cheat, very dangerous,” tweeted BobbyGsGambling.
While Lyft had to make a man at the airport PU tonight in Vegas, Term 3 lift ridesharing PU. 2 separate ridesharing guys from PU stand in front of their cars saying their Lyft rides have been canceled. Does anyone want to drive for cash? Total cheat, very dangerous. @LASairport @lyft
– Bobby Gs Gambling Times and Adventure (@BobbyGsGambling) April 8, 2021
McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews confirmed the practice recently took place at the airport, saying that including these drivers in the rides could pose a safety risk.
“There are people trying to capitalize on the fact that there are long waits (for rides) and the lack of drivers,” said Crews. “We want the public to be aware that anyone who travels is taking all measures that have been taken to ensure that it is a safe means of transportation if they choose one of these offers.”
As the Road Warrior reported last week, the number of drivers in Las Vegas has decreased significantly from last year, frustrating visitors and local residents who try to ride on Uber or Lyft.
State data shows the number of active drivers in Nevada is less than half the number a year ago. As of March 30, there were 13,723 active drivers across the state, compared to 36,482 active drivers reported by the state on March 13, 2020.
That opened the door for those who want to take advantage of the situation.
Crews said patrols in McCarran’s pick-up pick-up areas had increased – as had the number of those violating the Clark County ordinance that bans tariff collection.
“We monitored these areas at peak times of the day,” said Crews. “But with the steady increase in travelers to Las Vegas, there has just been so much activity that we have certainly seen an increase in the number of quotes given for this type of behavior … We are monitoring the area, but for points, that we cannot be everywhere at the same time. “
Nevada Transportation Authority spokeswoman Teri Williams said the agency also cracked down on the illegal practice, not just in McCarran but along the resort’s corridor.
“Off-app and cash trips are a constant focus for state transportation officials,” Williams said.
Drivers caught driving for money can face a hefty fine and potentially lose their vehicle.
“Drivers requesting app or cash rides can be fined up to $ 10,000 and impose additional fines if their vehicle is confiscated,” said Williams.
Given the increase in those wanting to make money quickly while the number of drivers is low, airport officials are relaying the message to travelers to keep them safe during their visit to Las Vegas.
“We’re trying to create more awareness with our social media messages and in-terminal messages,” said Crews. “We really want to make sure the drivers are aware of that.”