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Richard N. Velotta
 

Lyft becomes first ride-hailing company to operate legally at McCarran

27 October 2015

Lyft became the first ride-hailing company to begin operating legally at McCarran International Airport on Monday.

The San Francisco-based transportation network company, best known for its pink mustache logo, worked through all the technology, insurance and legal logistics in less than a week to begin providing rides to and from the Las Vegas airport.

Lyft is giving customers $5 off two separate rides either to or from the airport through April 20 to mark the kickoff of the service, made possible last week when the Clark County Commission voted unanimously to immediately issue temporary business licenses to companies operating within the county.

Commissioners are expected to enact permanent licensing provisions in an ordinance expected to be considered in November.

Customers wanting the $5 discount must use the code FLYLAS when hailing the ride.

McCarran officials have placed some temporary signage at the airport and have information staff available to help guide Lyft customers to designated pickup locations in the parking garage.

Lyft customers arriving at the airport have the option of being dropped off at the departures curb nearest airline ticket counters or at the passenger pickup location on Level 1.

Customers will meet their drivers once a hail has been requested and confirmed at a designated pickup zone on the north end of the parking garage on Level 2M.

"We're proud to be the first ridesharing partner of McCarran International Airport," said Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson. "Lyft's launch in Vegas was one of our biggest yet and collaborating with key stakeholders like LAS is an important part of continuing to grow the Lyft Las Vegas community."

Uber, the larger of two ride-hailing companies operating in Nevada, is in talks with McCarran officials and is expected to issue a statement on the status of its airport operations later Monday.

"Uber is dedicated to serving riders and drivers at McCarran and to continuing a thorough process with airport officials," said Jason Radisson, general manager of Uber Nevada.

"Our priority is to reach a resolution that ensures rider and driver safety along with the best user experience, as quickly as possible," he said.

One of the final hurdles Lyft had to clear was to coordinate with McCarran's "geofence" technology that senses when a Lyft vehicle enters airport property, either at Terminal 1, Terminal 3 or the McCarran Rent-A-Car facility south of the airport.

Transportation network companies are assessed a $2.45 fee every time they drop off or pick up a passenger at McCarran. Taxi companies are only assessed when they pick up a passenger.

The reason ride-hailing companies are charged twice is that there is additional property use, signage, upkeep and maintenance required of those companies. The companies could have been assessed one larger fee, but for accounting purposes, both requested just being charged a smaller fee twice.