Why taxi rides between Las Vegas’ airport and the Strip may become a good deal

Taxis soon will take visitors from McCarran International Airport to hotels on the Strip for a flat price.
(George Rose / Getty Images)

Las Vegas taxicabs will be required to charge flat-rate fares between McCarran International Airport and resorts on the Strip, starting Jan. 1. The fares are calculated by the ride (not the number of passengers) and aren’t subject to surge pricing.

The Nevada Taxicab Authority, the agency that regulates taxis in Las Vegas and the surrounding county, recently approved a six-month trial run for the new fares. Currently, airport cab rides are metered, charging by time and distance.

Under the flat-rate plan, here’s what you can expect to pay for a taxi ride to or from the airport, by location:

Zone 1: $19, from Sunset Road north to Tropicana Avenue, including hotel-casinos Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Tropicana.


Zone 2: $23, from Tropicana Avenue north to Flamingo Road, including resorts from New York-New York and MGM Grand on the south end to Bellagio and Bally’s on the north end.

Zone 3: $27, which includes the Strip’s remaining hotels, from Caesars Palace on the south end to the Stratosphere on the north end. The Venetian and Wynn resorts also are located in this zone.

By comparison, a trip from the airport to New York-New York Hotel & Casino on a weekday afternoon would cost $14.41 for UberX service, and $10 to $12 for Lyft personal service, according to fare estimators used Monday afternoon on the respective websites. The cost increases with number of passengers and time of day (peak times are more expensive).

But back to taxis. The Taxicab Authority said in a news release that action was taken to stop “the scourge of long hauling,” which happens when drivers take longer or more congested routes to increase the cost of the ride.

“Certainly, if they’re putting a flat fare on the meter, they’re interested in expediting that passenger to their location as quickly as possible,” said Teri Williams, spokeswoman for the state agency.

During September, 58% of arriving airport passengers chose to take Uber or Lyft from the airport. More than 580,000 pickups were recorded in September, and roughly 85% of those rides headed to hotels on the Strip.

Despite the popularity of rideshare services, some passengers prefer cabs because they can pay with credit cards and cash, instead of exclusively through an app.