Taxi in Las Vegas
Longer distances than it appears to be
Most casinos and hotels in Las Vegas are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Even though the Strip is just one street, the distances can be surprisingly large for pedestrians. The hotels are so large that it’s easy to get tricked that it is closer than it looks like. Fortunately, there are loads of cabs in Las Vegas and they are pretty cheap.
The rates are regulated by Nevada Taxi Cab Authority which means that all 16 cab companies in Las Vegas have the same rates.
The taximeter starts at $3.30, it’s $2.40 per mile and it’s $30 per hour when the cab isn’t moving. If your ride starts at McCarran airport, $1.80 is added. On the link below you’ll find rates for typical trips from the airport to the biggest hotels. For example, it costs $11-$14 to the hotels closest to the airport, like MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. It costs about $20 to go to the north side of the Strip.
Taxi rates from the airport to different hotels [taxi.nv.gov].
All drivers expect a tip. You should add about 10-15% to the rate, maybe 20% if you have heavy luggage. If you ask for a very short trip, there is a risk that the driver will get irritated. They usually have to wait a long time in line. We recommend tipping really good to those who doesn’t whine about it in order to encourage better behavior.
Don’t hail taxis from the street
Unlike New York, taxis aren’t allowed to stop on the street to pick up people. The drivers risk hefty fines if they do it. You should instead walk to the closest hotel, they always have taxi stands. If you still want to do it, make sure the cab driver can stop at a place that doesn’t affect the traffic. Most drivers will still ignore you so it might be faster to walk to that hotel. Off the Strip, it is of course easier.
There is a small risk that the driver takes a detour, called long-hailing, to make more on your trip. However, according to our experience, it is way more likely to get warned for it than that it actually happens. If it should happen it will cost you a few dollars extra so it’s not the end of the world. Just try not to enlighten the driver that it’s your first trip to Las Vegas as soon as you get into the cab.
Kickbacks and strip clubs
It’s common that taxi drivers get paid, a so-called kickback, for bringing customers to clubs and restaurants. You need to be specific on where you want to go and not let the driver convince you that another club is better. Strip clubs in particular pay large kickbacks for male passengers. If you want to go to a strip club you should use this to your advantage. It’s not very hard to get a free cab, or even a limo, to a strip club. Ask the cab driver. In this article [lasvegassun.com]
you can read a few poker players who received money to get to Sapphire gentlemen’s club.
- Bring enough cash, not all companies take credit cards.
- Five persons are the maximum allowed number of passenger in a normal cab.
- The taxi driver must obey if the passenger wants to give directions.
- It is illegal for the driver to smoke if there are passengers in the car.
- There are almost 3000 cabs and about 8500 drivers in Las Vegas.
- According to Nevada law, all cabs must be equipped with air condition.
- New cabs can be on the street for 67 months until they can’t be used anymore as a cab.
Driving laws and accidents
Most taxi drivers are good drivers and are following the law. In Nevada, a hand-held cell phone, texting and accessing the internet while driving is illegal. Use of a cell phone while driving increases accident rates. If your driver is using a cell phone or speeding please ask them to follow the law, for a safer taxi trip. For more info about Las Vegas taxi accidents.