LAS VEGAS -- The I-Team has been exposing long hauling for years and finally the Taxicab Authority brought the power players into one room to stop it.
Everyone wants to stop the long haul from the airport, but they don't know how to do it. Cab companies want to police themselves and the TA wants new fares, fees and penalties to keep a $13 ride from becoming twice as much.
The TA found more than 90-percent of all long hauling complaints started at the airport with people being taken the long way through the tunnel to the Strip. So Wednesday's workshop was to bounce ideas around and get feedback about a flat fee system of $20 to hotel locations in a six-mile ring around the airport.
The cab companies fear this could actually make cheaper drives to places like the Hard Rock more expensive. They also think big events can clog the city and a flat fee would hurt profit margins.
The TA knows public pressure is high to keep tourists from getting bilked.
"It's a violation of our laws and regulations that leaves a very bad taste in our visitor's mouths," said Gordon Walker with the TA.
"Sometimes in this town, we're confronted with tremendous traffic. And to tell a driver that they're not going to get compensated for sitting in traffic, is, in my opinion, preposterous," said Jonathan Schwartz with Yellow-Checker-Star Cab Companies.
Yellow-Checker-Star agreed that $500 fines could make a difference, but it would still be up to the passengers to speak out and write a complaint.
The TA is pushing the legislature to make those big fines happen with a state law up for debate in the Spring, so if a flat rate fell flat, it could lead instead to zones -- pay less for trips to the Hard Rock and more for the Sahara, based on distance from the airport.
This plan could keep the flat rate principals, but help offset any long waits in traffic. More debate set for next month.
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