Hours after calling a meeting to consider a defined stance on the regulation of Uber here in Las Vegas, the Nevada Taxicab Authority canceled the meeting. Ileana Drobkin is chair of the board that regulates Clark County’s 16 taxi companies.
Remember: The state Attorney General’s Office, representing the Nevada Transportation Authority, took Uber to court after last November (when Uber wanted to begin a branch here in Las Vegas). NTA claimed Uber operations unlicensed and unsafe, and Washoe County Judge Scott Freeman issued a temporary injunction that prevented Uber from opening anywhere in Nevada.
So what’s the future for Uber in Nevada? Why does nearly every major city in America have access to Uber but the place that arguably could benefit the most from it is unable to take advantage of its services? Could it have to do with the amount of power taxi companies have in this city? Or is is strict regulations in the industry?
To Note: Nevada’s taxi and limousine regulations are among the strictest in the nation, and Last year alone, over $390 million in fares were spent on Las Vegas taxi rides. Also, in Las Vegas, the taxi industry is regulated at the state level by a board of appointed officials insulated from direct lobbying.
“There’s nothing prohibiting them from operating here. They simply need to go to the taxi authority and make an application like every other provider in the industry has done,” Jonathan Schwartz, director at Yellow Checker Star, said about ridesharing companies such as San Fran based Uber. “If they just started operating, it would be illegal.”