Word from a Vegas cabbie
General notes about Las Vegas cabs
- The maximum number of passengers allowed in any Las Vegas cab is five, but many only have room for four.
- When leaving the airport the cabbie might ask if you want to "take the tunnel" or "go the fastest way." This is an alternate route that is usually, but not always, a little faster... but it is also a little longer, and thus slightly more expensive. Not enough to worry about, though. The difference in price is maybe the price of a single drink.
- You are allowed to bring a beer or cocktail in the cab with you. If you do this, be courteous and sit in the backseat to be less of a worry to the driver.
- Taxis aren't allowed to stop for fares on the street. Head to the nearest hotel to catch a ride at the taxi stand.
Be advised that, by law, Las Vegas cabs will NOT pick up a "hailing" fare (called a "flag" locally). Especially on Las Vegas Boulevard. Almost any place you want to leave from or go to has a cab stand, including every outlet mall, shopping center, casino and strip club in town. Every cabbie carries, by taxi regulation, a book with every street in Clark County, Nevada, in it. It's about the size of a Manhattan phone book.
Unless you really enjoy the Las Vegas Boulevard Death March in summer, you'll find cabs and our local city bus system to be great ways to get around, particularly in the Resort Corridor. All-day bus passes are cheap, and the double-decker "Deuce" is worth the ride down the Strip in itself.
To drive your car from one hotel half a mile to the next one is akin to dropping a brick on your toe. Most of the parking structures are nearly a 1000-foot walk from the casino floor. So, if you were to walk out to your car from the MGM Grand, start your car (or rental car), maneuver down to the street, deal with the traffic to, say, Paris, park in Paris' garage and walk into the casino, you would have walked more than half a mile.
Or, you might have just walked out to the bus stop, paid your cheap fare, let someone else drive the bus and gotten off at Paris -- probably a lot faster than driving, looking for the entrances, juggling a map, waiting for traffic lights, etc.
The doorman at your hotel is more than happy to get you a cab at any time. It's part of his job, but it's polite to tip him for this small service. If you walk past the taxis at the cab stand in front of your hotel and saunter down to the Strip then attempt to hail a cab, you have just wasted a walk. And, we all charge the same amount, set by law.
One small tip: a GOOD Las Vegas cabbie will not take you down the Strip unless you specifically request it. If you find yourself in a cab on Paradise Road or Dean Martin (aka, Industrial), that's because those are the fast routes that locals and the cabs use.
As for McCarran Airport to Resort Corridor taxis, be advised that smart cabbies ALWAYS know when flights are due in, and from where. We can access this information online. The distribution of cabs varies at McCarran by time of day because arrival times are concentrated in certain times of day. I have, however, never flown into town and waited more than five minutes for a cab, even at 3:30am on a Sunday. Usually there is a line of taxis, with official McCarran Taxi Dudes ushering you towards the next available cab.
Somewhere around 30 million people use our airport annually and we try to get them onto and off of planes and to their destinations as quickly as possible, consistently with good hospitality.
We really DO do this for money, and if we don't do it well, you won't be back. So we try to make it as seamless as possible.
P.S. The monorail doesn't go to McCarran. Neither do the gondolas at the Venetian. Sorry 'bout that.
Originally posted on FirstTimeLasVegas.com here, Dec. 13, 2009 by Pico N. Alvarado