Uber and Lyft Granted Permits to Offer Rides in Las Vegas
After being banned in Las Vegas this past November for not obtaining the necessary permits to operate in Sin City, Uber is finally back after acquiring the essential permits yesterday, September 15th, and it’s being joined by Lyft, another ride-sharing app.
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Uber was previously banned when the city rejected its argument that Uber was a technology company that didn’t need the permits required of a regular transportation company. Uber defended its argument by saying its passengers could not hail down a ride and that its vehicles had no identifying markers to distinguish them like a regular taxi, but that didn’t stop Washoe District Judge Scott Freeman from issuing a preliminary injunction against Uber for not cooperating with the state’s laws for transportation services, which he argued put public safety at risk.
After finally being issued the necessary permits yesterday, Uber is already offering rides via its free smartphone app. All a person has to do is download uberX and create an account for billing purposes, then they can start ordering rides. Users can track the exact location of the vehicle that will be picking them up and they will also be given the driver’s contact information, as well as the vehicle’s license plate number. The Las Vegas lawyer representing Uber, Don Campell, said the information Uber gives to its customers and the ability to review its driver’s performance in real time actually makes Uber a safer option than traditional taxi services, which the state only randomly drug tests.
September 16th marks the first time Lyft has operated in Las Vegas, and it plans to employ 2,500 drivers in the state within the next two years. If you’re not familiar with Lyft, it works very similarly to Uber–you just download the Lyft app, provide your credit card information, and you can start ordering rides.
The major differences between the two transportation services are that Uber places a higher emphasis on professionalism and generally offer rides in newer cars, while Lyft is less formal and its drivers interact more with the customers.
Both Uber and Lyft will be offering Las Vegas residents and visitors rides from various parts of city to the Strip, as well as rides to and from Summerlin and Henderson.