LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A state audit says tourists are being cheated out of almost $15 million a year by cab drivers who take advantage of the fact that they don't know their way around.
It's a practice known as long-hauling, when taxi drivers deliberately take a longer route for a higher cab fare.
According to the state's audit, long-hauling happened 22 percent of the time in 2012 on trips to and from McCarran International Airport.
News 3’s Amber Dixon tested some of the drivers on their practices.
On the first ride, from McCarran Airport to the Tropicana, the driver used the shortest route for $16.
Had he wanted more money, he could have long-hauled the reporter by driving through the airport connector and using the 215. One driver says they are pressured to use the practice by companies.
“There's some companies that are pushing their drivers to make more money for them,” the driver said. “So in order to make more money for them, you have to go a longer route.”
The second ride was from the Excalibur to the airport. The cost was $18, which is normal.
Ride no. 3 was from the airport to New York New York. The taxi driver offered a choice: “Which way? The fastest, or by the Strip?” Although a longer route, the driver said taking the 215 was quickest but more costly.
The ride cost $26, compared with the $15 to take the shorter ride back to the airport.
And on the fifth and final ride, from the airport to the Monte Carlo, the reporter was long-hauled. Without asking, the driver went onto the 215.
“It's a rush hour,” the driver said. “It's faster here because when we hit Tropicana there, you know, the Las Vegas Boulevard is stop and go.” This ride cost $25. According to the state, the shorter route would run between $12 and $17.