Uber Launches in Las Vegas and Reno This Afternoon![Join in on the discussion with other Uber Drivers in Las Vegas and Reno in this Facebook Group: Las Vegas and Reno Uber Driver’s Lounge]
There has been some recent articles about Uber in Las Vegas. However, there is an article (at the bottom of this post) that confirms that it will be launching this afternoon! Due to so many posts about unlicensed drivers and car, I would take this to mean UberX and not their professional licensed black car service Uber Black or Uber SUV.
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Last week they held a drivers meeting, which was invite only. Only drivers could attend, and reporters and regulators were shut out of the meeting.
Eventually, the Nevada Taxicab Authority chimed in to say that Uber drivers can be fined if they are found to be operating without the proper license.
Earlier this week, Uber sat down with the editorial board at The Review Journal is Las Vegas to discuss their launch plans:
Here are some key points from that article:
Representatives of the company met with the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board on Wednesday to explain details of its service. The company hasn’t disclosed when it would launch or what its fares would be. Normally, the company’s rates are 10 percent to 20 percent below a market’s standard taxi rates.
Justin Kintz, Uber’s head of public policy, said in the past 45 days, 50,000 people have opened the Uber app on their smartphones in Southern Nevada, an indication, he said, that the market is prime for the company that refers to itself as a technology company and not a transportation operation.
A spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Business and Industry, which oversees the Transportation and Taxicab authorities, said drivers contracted by Uber would be treated like any other unlicensed transportation driver — with a citation and an impound order that would cost up to $10,000 per incident to resolve.
The Taxicab Authority earlier this week approved an 8 percent rate increase expected to take effect in the next few weeks.
Other details from Uber’s meeting with the Review-Journal:
■ The company’s app can “black out” certain pickup zones. The company has been meeting with resort companies to determine the best way to provide pick-up points that are convenient to customers. But the technology will be able to head off attempts to stop in the middle of traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard for a pickup.
■ Behrend said the typical Uber customer isn’t just a millennial. She said customers nationwide include senior citizens needing a ride to the doctor’s office or a pharmacy and people who have had too much to drink and need a ride home.
Uber Launches in Las Vegas and Reno
This article, posted early this morning, confirms that Uber is launching in both Las Vegas and Reno today!
Here are some key points from the article:
After months of strategizing, representatives of Uber say they will launch their controversial ride-sharing platform in Las Vegas and Reno this afternoon.
In the company’s initial rollout, Uber drivers will not pick up customers in the city’s resort corridor or at McCarran International Airport but will be able to drop off passengers at those locations.
Regulators, meanwhile, say they will enforce the state’s transportation statutes and regulations, which means they probably will cite drivers and impound their vehicles if they’re caught transporting customers without a license.
“We’re going to enforce the law,” said Bruce Breslow, director of the state’s Department of Business and Industry, which oversees the Nevada Transportation Authority and the Nevada Taxicab Authority. “We’re not going to get into an argument over philosophies,”
‘HUNDREDS OF DRIVERS’
Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend said the company has contracted with “hundreds of drivers.” During the past 45 days, the company has monitored 50,000 people opening the Uber app in Southern Nevada. The company said hundreds of thousands of people have the app on their smartphones worldwide and are familiar with its operation because they’ve used the service in more than 200 cities in 45 countries.
Uber therefore believes the service will be successful in Las Vegas where millions of foreign tourists visit annually.
But in the early going, the company wants to focus on serving residential neighborhoods, where Uber officials think local taxi companies are weakest.
“The focus for us is on the fact that you have an industry that hasn’t been serving the people that live and work in Vegas,” Uber spokesman Lane Kasselman said. “Our launch is to focus on those people. So we’re launching in Las Vegas, but we’re not launching on the Strip. We’re launching to provide the product to people that actually live and work here … . We think the regulators will recognize this unmet need and will be supportive of our efforts to address the problem.”
The surprising key point is that they are only picking up outside of the actual hot zones in Las Vegas, such as the surrounding neighborhoods of Las Vegas. But what about the people who live in Las Vegas and works at the airport or the resorts? I know that these are the type of people Uber wants as customers initially to increase local support of Uber, but they are neglecting the fact that many workers live in the surrounding neighborhoods and may need a ride back from work. The app currently won’t allow that to happen.
This is a great way to launch in a city such as Las Vegas to get the local support, but the policy may only be partially effective.
I believe they will not be blacking out pickups at the major resorts and the airport but its unclear when they will be removing the restriction.
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