Getting Around: Cabs, Lyft and Uber

I typically do not rent a car when I visit Las Vegas and I discourage others from renting cars unless they specifically know that they will need one. There are still times when you want an option other than walking, the Monorail or the bus, though. Up until recently, my preferred method had been cab. That all changed during my recent trips.

I was already thinking about using Lyft and Uber more during my back to back November trips, but when a cabbie long hauled me from McCarran to the Monte Carlo on my first trip, I was done with cabs in Las Vegas. I hate being put in that situation (and no, I do not let them get away with it). As far as I am concerned, they have dug their own graves. Not all cab drivers are bad. But there are enough that I am no longer willing to give them my business.

If you want to find out more about cab rates as well as how to report issues like long hauling, visit my taxicab posts.

It has taken some time, but the airport and hotels have been making it more and more convenient for the various ride sharing services. At McCarran, there is a special ride share pickup area on level 2M of the self parking garage. The signage to get there is fairly good and once you are there, it has multiple numbered spots where your driver can wait. If you are there before your ride (which is typical), you will be able to see the driver pull into the parking level. Some Lyft drivers have ‘Amps’ which are little colored light indicators on their dashboard to help you find them. If your driver has an ‘Amp’ the color matching their Amp will show up on your phone to make it easier to pick out the proper car. The Lyft and Uber apps also give you the make, model and license plate of the car arriving for you, too, and I find that to be fairly easy to track.

Most hotels have dedicated ride share pickup locations. They are typically near the bus and shuttle areas or a secondary entrance.  I found the signage for them to be useful. As a general rule, the ride share services can drop you off and the front entrance/valet of a Strip hotel, but not pick you up there. The one exception I have found is Vdara which has the pickup location in their main valet. It also serves as the spot for Aria, which isn’t quite as convenient.

A benefit of having the driver and car info on the app is that if you happen to leave something in the car or need to report something later, you have all of the details readily available. No need to scrounge for a pen and paper (which you probably wouldn’t know that you needed to do until it was too late anyway), type in all the info on your phone  or take  photo of their info since it is already in the app. Uber even has a special lost and found page  which lets you quickly look up the trip and contact the driver. Uber may even hold or mail the item to you depending upon the circumstances.

Payments and expenses are easy to track, too, since it is all by credit card and tracked in the app. You can also access your account online if that is easier for you. No need to get a cab receipt (which they never properly fill out anyway). Oh, and when you are requesting your ride, you get an estimated cost for the ride once you enter your destination. No more guessing how much it will cost.

I was hesitant to join the ride-share movement, but I am glad that I did. I primarily use it when traveling, but it has come in handy locally as well.

If you don’t have Uber or Lyft, you can download the apps and get a ride credit here:

Both apps work in  a similar style. Here is a tutorial with photos for how to use Lyft.

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