LAS VEGAS -- A legislative audit of the Taxi Cab Authority reveals tourists being ripped off of about 15 million dollars last year.
Taxi cab drivers that take passengers on unrequested scenic routes could hurt the Las Vegas economy according to auditors.
Washington tourist Michelle Renault was a victim of the unrequested scenic route and will never forget it.
"We were on the Strip, got stuck at the stop lights eventually passing UNLV and were all over the place," Renault said.
Taxi driver Donald Santos said some take the scenic route for their own pockets or because of the pressure from management.
"If you don't make a certain average some companies will get rid of you or they won't work you the next day, the company that I work for they just want you to do the right thing," Santos said. "Come back with the money they deserve and that's it, it's very simple."
Commissioner Steve Sisolak has never heard of a company encouraging long hauling, but said it's been a big problem for many years.
"Somebody comes here from Iowa, Florida, New York, or wherever and it's the first taste basically you have of Las Vegas," Sisolak said. "Stand in line to get a cab and if you got ripped off, it's not a good start."
Auditors looked at taxi drivers' trip sheets for rides to or from the airport and what they found are astonishing. Long hauling along with a few extra miles tacked on may have occurred in a quarter of every trip according to the audit.
The audit makes eight recommendations to fix the problem.
The Taxi Cab Authority was unavailable for comment today, but sent a statement thanking the legislative council for a thorough review of their operations and said they accept the recommendations.