Uber and Lyft have long awaited for their entrance into the lucrative Las Vegas market.
The fact is, the Taxicab Authority has a lot of power in Las Vegas (ever wonder why the monorail stops at MGM when it could have been convenient to extend to the airport) and lobbyists have done an incredible job keeping Uber and Lyft out of Las Vegas. Why? Other than Las Vegas being a lucrative market, they made it more lucrative by long hauling riders:
- In 2012, Time estimated that riders were overcharged by $14.8 million in 2012 alone.
- The latest report (2016) from USNews estimates this at $47 million per year according to an audit on the Nevada Taxicab Authority.
I’ve taken cabs here and there and had a bad experience at least half the time.
Uber first tried to operate in 2014, perhaps when there was a little legal ambiguity. It ended up backfiring as the Las Vegas Review Journal reported, “masked men, who work as investigators with the Nevada Taxicab Authority and Nevada Transportation Authority” were taking down Uber drivers, in one case to the tune of, “two citations and having the vehicle, registered to his wife, towed to a distant yard. He figures the citations will cost an estimated $400.”
Uber and Lyft Coupon/Promo Codes for Las Vegas
Legislature for Uber and Lyft were finally passed in 2015, and thus far it’s been a hit. Out here in Summerlin if I called a cab it would take an hour for them to come by, with Uber and Lyft I won’t have to wait longer than 10 minutes.
You can signup for just one – or both. Most drivers do work for both to maximize their rides. I have noticed more Uber drivers, and some areas are designated as “Uber Pickup Areas,” though I doubt Lyft drivers can’t go there. I haven’t noticed a difference in price.
Pretty much every strip location has a Rideshare pickup location, sometimes it can be rather innocuous so just ask an employee and they can point you in the right direction. They’re usually near the main entrance though.
You don’t have to call them early (eg. from your hotel room), because they do come relatively quickly… sometimes a driver is already waiting in the pickup area. But if you do, you’re only charged $0.35 an minute after their first 2 minutes waiting.
Update 4/29/16: Uber just slashed UberX prices in Las Vegas by 16%, haven’t seen any updates from Lyft but will update when I do.
New to Uber and Lyft? Here are a few promo codes to get you started:
Uber Promo Code: uber702vegas for $20 off of your first ride. This is currently the best offer for Las Vegas. This should about cover your from anywhere within the Vegas strip… and almost anywhere around the city. Both apps have fare estimates if you want to double check.
- Instructions: Download the app. Create an account. Click on “Promotions” from the menu. Enter the promo code above.
Lyft Promo Code: $10 FREE – Unfortunately, Lyft has scaled back on their promo for free rides, it used to be $50 off ($10 off first 5 rides), but now it’s just a measly $10. But, on the brightside, $10 is enough to get you pretty much from the south side of the strip to the north side. And if you’re new to Vegas and you think you can walk the entire strip. Don’t. Just don’t.
- Instructions: Visit this link to redeem where you will be taken to Lyft’s website where you will be instructed to enter your phone number where they will send further instructions to your phone.
What about for existing Uber and Lyft users?
Coupons are generally targeted to new customers but there have been a few promos, albeit rarely that popup for existing customers. Normally, I’ll just see them on the app by happenstance, for example when the CES conference was here, Uber was comping everyone a ride and the promo pops up if you’re on the Las Vegas Strip.
Another thing you can do is keep an eye on the official Uber Las Vegas Twitter, where they partner up with businesses to offer coupon codes (Just examples, there are expired):
(Lyft doesn’t have a local twitter account, but keep an eye out on their official Facebook for Lyft)
— Uber Nevada (@Uber_NV) November 25, 2015
— Uber Nevada (@Uber_NV) October 17, 2015