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Owners, drivers at odds over blame for long-hauling

Reported by: Amber Dixon
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Updated: 4/24/2013 6:49 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The News 3 undercover investigation into long-hauling by local cab drivers is drawing reaction from the industry.

A state audit found one out of every four taxi rides from McCarran International Airport costs more than it should.

That's because instead of going down to Tropicana and taking a left to get to the Strip, many cab drivers hit the airport tunnel, the 215, and I-15 instead, to jack up the fare.

Out of five cab rides News 3's Amber Dixon took Monday night, the driver from Desert Cab was the only company to long haul her.

Desert Cab was asked for a response to the long hauling. Its president did not want to talk on camera but spoke with News 3 by phone.

George Balaban says drivers turn in travel reports every day which can be checked against the company's GPS system.

The problem is, he says, some drivers lie. And with so many reports coming in, the company can't always catch long haulers unless a passenger complains.

“So we look at the trip sheet and we're going, ‘$30, that seems like a lot to Mandalay Bay,’ but he doesn't write you into Mandalay Bay, he writes that he went to the Red Rock,” Balaban said. “So that doesn't look that red flag to us. Now if we run the GPS on that, but why would we if we didn't have a complaint. I mean, the odds that we would just pick that one ride and run it out of the thousands that are being run each day isn't going to happen, so we wouldn't catch that.”

During the News 3 test of taxis, one driver said cab companies can pressure drivers to long haul.

Balaban says that's an excuse for poor performance. He adds that drivers are fired from his company on a regular basis for long hauling.

He stresses that if you've been long hauled, you should call to complain.

One of the biggest taxi companies in town, Yellow Checker Star Transportation, calls the recent state report on long-hauling "wildly reckless and inaccurate.”

Also, Vegas Inc. reports that YCS claims auditors inaccurately called any trip over $5 "long-hauling."
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