Nothing says “Welcome to Las Vegas” like the hundreds of poker machines scattered through the airport. Then, as soon as you walk outside, you are hit with the blazing Nevada sun and a line up of taxi cabs.
As a traveller, I use primarily Uber and Lyft as my transport services. However, upon arriving at Las Vegas on a Thursday afternoon, my friends and I decided that a taxi cab would do. In hindsight, we should have taken the one minute it takes to order a Uber/Lyft instead.
As soon as the taxi cab ride started, I experienced regret worse than the morning after you have “one last drink”. The cab itself was filthy. There was rubbish scattered throughout the vehicle and the windows didn’t look like they had been washed since the car was made. The driver not only “long hauled” us by using the freeway, but at one point, was actually driving on the left hand side of the road attempting to turn right. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then stopped the car and started yelling at other drivers to let him through.
Plus, when paying by credit card you are forced to leave a tip. There was no option for the 0% that this driver deserved. Later when I checked my credit card statement, I saw that I was actually charged twice, totaling $53.22USD.
In comparison, an Uber or Lyft would have cost $10-12USD.
How to order an Uber or Lyft from the Las Vegas Strip
Although I don’t recommend that you catch a taxi in Las Vegas, it’s important to know that there is no hailing of taxis, Ubers or Lyfts from The Strip. The Strip is extremely busy at all hours of the day and safety laws prohibit pick ups and drop offs from the street.
You will need to walk to either a:
- Hotel/Casino pick up/drop off zone;
- Shopping Centre/Mall; or.
- Events centre – such as the T-Mobile Arena.
Request a Uber
1. Open the Uber app. If you have location services turned on, the app should detect that you are on the Las Vegas Strip automatically. If not, enter your location.
2. Set your pick up location and destination.
3. Tap ‘Set Pickup Location’ and choose a designated pick up location from the app. For some locations, such as the Forum Shops, there are three locations to choose from.
4. Tap ‘Confirm Pickup Location’ and wait to be assigned a driver.
Request a Lyft
1. Open the Lyft app. If you have location services turned on, the app should detect that you are on the Las Vegas Strip automatically. If not, enter your location.
2. The app will direct you to head to the nearest casino pickup location to request a ride. You can move the pin drop to the location of your choosing (such as Caeser’s Palace).
3. Tap ‘Set Pickup’. The app will direct you to go to a specific location, such as the main entrance. Then tap ‘Confirm Location’.
4. Add your destination, tap “Request Lyft” and wait to be assigned a driver.
Uber vs. Lyft
Lyft are trying extremely hard to gain dominant market share in Las Vegas. You’ll find Lyft snappers in pink t-shirts scattered along the street that give first-time users a discount. Keep in mind though, that for every Lyft snapper you find, you’ll come across ten adult entertainment ones. The discount cards we received would not register in any of our Lyft accounts – maybe because they were all created in Australia?
I find Uber to be slightly more convenient to use so it is my usual go to rideshare app. However, most of the time it comes down to personal preference. The rates don’t differ that much between the two and they are both much better than a taxi cab. Plus, I’m a sucker for UberEATS when I’m in the US, so the brand is more in the forefront of my mind than Lyft.
How has your experience been with taxis, Uber and Lyft in Las Vegas? Have you been able to use the Lyft discount vouchers?