UBER IN LAS VEGAS
To hail, or not to hail, that is the question.
“I’m not really a cab driver. I’m just waiting for something better to come along. You know, like death.”
-Alex Reiger (Judd Hirsch) from TAXI (American Sitcom)
The real question to be posed while visiting here in Las Vegas, be it business or pleasure is: To Uber, or not to Uber (and that goes for your too Lyft)? This really is a conundrum that the stereotypical tourist and business person confronts from the moment that they are “wheels down” on the McCarran tarmac.
Travel worn Las Vegas inbounds psychotic from a lack of REM sleep reeking of B.O., curry, and garlic ponder their choices when they hit the curb as to whether or not they will join the throngs and hail a cab that is already in the queue or let their thumbs do the talking and summon Uber or Lyft via an app. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
“You talkin’ to me?”
-Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) Taxi Driver
Yes, I’m talking to you. Here’s the scoop, “Scoop Brady” (The Brady Bunch – The Power of the Press). Las Vegas is a different beast/business model than other cities and locales when it comes to transportation. You see, our city’s main industry is hospitality, and no one does it better than Las Vegas. Case in point when it comes to transportation; you can find a cab at every stand at every moment and hour on any given day 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including Christmas). Unlike other cities where taxi cab companies have BK’d or are on the brink of death, our taxi cab companies are surviving and continue to deliver world class service with the breadth of knowledge that can only come from a true Las Vegas insider. Wanna know who’s in town? CHECK. Where’s the best restaurant? CHECK. How many stores are at the North Premium Outlet Mall (150 BTW)? CHECK. Who’s Giada De Laurentiis sleeping with? You guessed it…CHECK! Some of the best navigators in the world are Las Vegas taxi cab drivers. They have to learn 25,000 streets and how to get from one to the other. Ponce de León explorers? No. Modern day Magellans? YES.
I wonder about things, like, if they call an orange an “orange”, then why don’t we call a banana a “yellow” or an apple a “red”? Blueberries, I understand. But will someone explain gooseberries to me?
-Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) TAXI
So, why is Uber called Uber? The Oxford Dictionary defines Uber as: “denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing.” Uber is a privately held company that was founded by Travis Kalanick (founder of Red Swoosh) and Garrett Camp (co-founder of StumbleUpon) in March of 2009. Uber is a transportation network company (TNC) which is a fancy term for a company that uses an online platform to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles. Uber is leading by laying out a platform for people to help other people. Riders get an on-demand service and drivers can make additional income off an underlying asset that normally just sits in the garage. Riders can request four different vehicle types: UberX, Black Car, SUV and UberXL. Today, the company operates in more than 42 countries and has raised 1.2 billion at $17 billion evaluation led by Fidelity Ventures. More importantly, Uber delivers people, ice cream, and CATS!
This Las Vegas event planner regularly uses Uber when she visits the “The City by the Bay”, and don’t be calling it Frisco! (FYI, the company is currently headquartered in San Francisco, California.) I have been greeted by drivers with such niceties as suckers and small bottles of water, and the cars that I have had rides in have run the gamut from KIAs to Benzes chauffeured by gents clad in black tie. The drivers you ask? Are much like the cabbies I have encountered that being; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
However, as an Uber passenger one can provide information in the app about the driver and encourage them to be friendly. A rating system incentives drivers to deliver excellent customer service. A nice touch that keeps one from refraining to give a Rotten Tomatoes-esque review.
Ride sharing services, are here and they are here to stay. Las Vegas, at the moment is a bit of anomaly as great transportation services exist, and the ease of grabbing a cab so to speak is easier than finding the designated areas that are stanchioned off for Uber and Lyft. Sometimes one feels like the red headed step child schlepping it to the post where your chariot OOPS! KIA Cube awaits. This is not to say that the aforementioned don’t have a foot in the marketplace, because they do and their market share will continue to grow as it is flourishing in the burbs e.g.: Summerlin and Green Valley.
TAXI (TV Series) Dialogue:
Elaine O’Connor Nardo (Marilu Henner) [on first meeting Alex]: I’m only going to be working here part-time. I’m not really a taxi driver.
Alex Reiger (Judd Hirsch): Oh yeah, I know. We’re all part-time here. You see that guy over there? Now, he’s an actor. The guy on the phone, he’s a prize fighter. This lady over here, she’s a beautician. The man behind her, he’s a writer. Me? I’m a cab driver. I’m the only cab driver in this place.
Remember, the one constant in life is change. And the changes are a coming…there’s a new GM in town, and I’m not talking General Motors. I’m talking Google Motors, driverless cars are on the horizon and they’re coming to “The Strip” and a town near you, but that’s a whole other story.
Keep it between the lines,
p.s. This lady writing the blog, she’s a Las Vegas DMC aspiring to be a cab driver!
“To be, or not to be” is the opening phrase of a soliloquy spoken by Hamlet in the so-called “nunnery scene” of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/quotes http://quotesgram.com/popular/taxi-quotes/ http://www.rewindandcapture.com