A major shakeup is coming to Las Vegas’ taxi industry. The largest operator is in the process of selling its cabs and licenses.
Frias Charitable Trust is selling off the five cab companies that makeup Frias Transportation Management.
“The time is right, we have a timeline under certain regulations to divest ourselves from income-producing assets, and no better time than now than to take a chance,” said John Mowbray, Co-trustee, Frias Charitable Trust.
Mowbray says the trust inherited the cab companies, and it’s 1,100 employees after co-founder Phyllis Frias died in 2016.
Phyllis ran the company for a decade after her husband and co-founder Charlie passed away in 2006. Now, as required by law, the trust is in the middle of a five-year window to sell off its business assets.
“There’s been a surprising demand by different operators here in town to acquire some of these assets,” Mowbray said.
It’s surprising because the cab industry is struggling right now. The main reason ride-sharing companies have drastically cut into what was once the taxi industry’s stronghold on transportation around the valley.
“We get, like, an Uber,” said Vivek Ojha, visiting from San Francisco.
“We took an Uber from the airport to the hotel,” said Ojuz Ongel, visiting from Turkey.
“I’m in the habit of Uber now, so it’s just what you do,” said Geoff Palmer, visiting Australia.
None of the people we ran across Thursday plan on catching a cab while in town. But, once the numbers are broken down, it’s not surprising.
Since ride-sharing companies began operating legally in mid-2015, ridership has dropped significantly. Mowbray acknowledges that times have been tough.
“No question it stress-tested the operations, but we had a pretty good management team that was able to adapt on the run,” said Mowbray.
According to Mowbray, the trust is fulfilling its mission and the wishes of its late founders to continue giving back to the Las Vegas community for years to come.