Lack of ride share drivers leads to taxi services making comeback in Las Vegas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There is demand for Uber and Lyft rides in Southern Nevada but not enough drivers on the road. While it frustrates locals and visitors, it is helping bring business back to a certain service.  

“It took us like 20-25 minutes to wait for the Uber,” Julia Caesar said. 

“We ordered a Lyft and we waited and waited and it was 30 minutes or so and it still didn’t show up,” Andrew Ager said. 

Some at the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign noticed problems when ordering a Lyft or Uber — a trend making Caesar and others consider another option. 

“We thought about taxis a couple times,” said Caesar, visiting from Chicago. “We had people suggest them to us.” 

With locals and visitors having issues with ridesharing services, some taxi cab companies are now seeing a demand in business. 

Marino Locascio manages Deluxe Taxi. He has noticed drivers getting more rides, especially during March Madness.  

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls due to rideshare not being there for the public,” Locascio said. “The business as a whole has been really good this month and it’s also because the demand just came way up. Tourism is coming back, locals are on the move, it’s just been a great positive vibe.” 

But the industry overall continues to struggle meeting pre-pandemic numbers. Data from the Nevada Taxicab Authority shows monthly trips in February down by 65 percent compared to 2020.  

“We’re definitely not back to last year’s numbers,” Locascio said. “I mean, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.” 

Locascio adds taxi cab companies need drivers now.  

Cristen Drummond: “Why haven’t your drivers come back?” 

Marino Locascio: “It’s a mix really. Because a lot of them, we couldn’t find them they just disappeared and then there’s a lot of drivers who are still scared.” 

8 News Now reached out to Uber and Lyft regarding the lack of drivers. Both companies blame the state of emergency in Nevada pausing surge pricing at the moment, which normally incentivizes drivers. 

You can read both companies full statements below: 

“We’re seeing big increases in demand for rides, as vaccines roll out and people get ready to start moving again. We are working hard to meet demand, however due to Nevada’s State of Emergency and regulation preventing transportation networking companies from incentivizing drivers through dynamic pricing, there’s an impact on rider experience and driver earnings.”

Lyft Spokesperson 

“We are excited to see ridership rebounding in Nevada. However, due to the long-term State of Emergency in place in Nevada, state regulation currently prevents rideshare companies from using dynamic pricing to incentivize drivers during periods of high demand. This inadvertently impacts driver earnings and rider reliability.”

Uber Spokesperson

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