Las Vegas still has thousands of taxi cabs but in recent years ride sharing apps such Uber and Lyft have taken a big chuck of their business; You will still see lines of taxis out front of the big Strip resorts but you will also often see signs around the properties for Uber and Lyft pick up locations.

What is ride sharing? Not everyone has used one of these two services so let me explain a little how they work first you need to download one of their apps from the Apple or Google Play Store on your phone and set up an account with a credit card attached; After you have done this open the app and select their pickup location and destination then the type of vehicle required the app will give you a price and after you agree dispatch a nearby vehicle to you with the expected wait time.

All the vehicles are usually are less than five years old with the drivers using their private cars and the apps are location based which link you with the driver so you can you can see each others location to make a easy pick up.

Surge Pricing: Generally Uber and Lyft are much cheaper than the taxis although during high demand periods such as for example a big conference in town, early evening when everyone wants to go to dinner or a show or other times of higher demand prices go up. When surge pricing is in effect prices can be much higher than a taxis so at such times it might be better to explore taxis or other options.

Airport Pickup Locations: Yes you can use Uber and Lyft at the airport with the pickup locations in the parking garages so you will have to take your luggage their to get picked up; The locations are in Terminal 1 at Level 2M or at Terminal 3 its at Level V for valet. When you depart Mc Carren Airport, Uber and Lyft drivers are allowed to drop you off on the departures level where you can check your bags or carry in to the terminal easily.

IMG_0896Hotel Pickup Locations: Most large Strip resorts as you can see in the sign above have designated pickup locations on the property for Uber or Lyft. The locations might take a bit of waking but generally aren’t too remote but might take a bit of walking. On smaller properties on the Strip or Downtown if you don’t see the sign i would ask at the hotels front desk.

Which Company To Choose? If you use Uber or Lyft generally you get very good reasonably priced out side of surge pricing and, convenient service which one you use is up to you. The prices between the two do vary so having both apps might not be a bad idea and both companies offer larger or higher end vehicle options too, Globally Uber is the much bigger company but in Las Vegas Lyft has a strong following but both provide similar experiences.

Is Ride Sharing Good For Las Vegas: This is where i get all the comments from the taxi drivers who are not fans of Uber or Lyft to say the least. Taxi drivers will argue that you are safer with them because they have to follow strict licensing requirements which Uber and Lyft drivers do not although ride share drivers are back ground checked.

Could your driver not be a good person yes even with background checks and licensing its possible but unlikely if i was traveling with a group of people i wouldn’t be too concerned. If i was a single person especially at night I would be careful but thats a good idea anyways.

Before ride sharing came to Las Vegas there was fixed high regulated taxi fees although not as expensive as some other tourist cities. Now with Uber and Lyft you have an often less expensive option to get around Las Vegas which uses location based technology which makes the services very convenient for customers.

The taxis companies in the past have used their might to block customer friendly things such as extending the monorail to the airport to protect their lucrative airport runs so it’s a bit hard to feel sorry for them. Taxis are not going away not everyone will use ride sharing apps and during surge pricing its often less expensive to use taxis and many people are just going to walk out of the hotel or airport and jump in a taxis.

Uber and Lyft have brought competition to Las Vegas which is good for locals and visitors alike although with both companies burning through money especially Uber its unknown how long the lower prices might last but while they do competition is good for the consumer.