The Las Vegas company that started Nevada down the path of using GPS technology to discourage the illegal long-hauling of taxicab and limousine customers won the endorsement of the Nevada Transportation Authority on Thursday.
The authority, a three-member board that regulates limousine and bus companies statewide and taxi companies outside Clark County, voted unanimously to recommend Integrity Vehicle Solutions as its top choice to provide a real-time data system to track taxis and limousines as a long-hauling enforcement tool.
Long-hauling is the illegal transport of a cab or limo passenger on a longer-than-necessary route to collect a higher fare. Regulators and industry leaders say it results in one of the worst image problems in the tourism industry.
The decision was reached late Thursday after commissioners heard the last of four presentations from rival companies pitching their tracking technology.
The decision gives Integrity the inside track on what could be a multimillion-dollar state contract. Company executives’ familiarity with issues unique to the Las Vegas transportation industry was cited as a key factor in the decision.
The board’s recommendation goes to the state’s Purchasing Division, which will determine whether the system would have to go through a competitive bid process. The board ranked four companies that gave presentations based on the different features they provided.
Authority Chairman Andrew MacKay said he would forward the board’s record of the presentations to Purchasing later this month. He noted that if the proposal goes to a competitive bid, other companies could seek the contract.
The board ranked the three other companies that made presentations:
■ Creative Mobile Technologies of Long Island City, N.Y., which is contracted by the New York Taxicab and Limousine Commission and has units in 25,000 cabs in New York, Boston and Chicago.
■ VeriFone Systems of San Jose, Calif., which also has monitoring technology in some New York City cabs.
■ Digital Dispatch Systems Wireless International of British Columbia. The company has systems in Vancouver and Finland. Because of a communications error, the company didn’t give its presentation until Thursday. The other three companies made their pitches in February.
Integrity — which recently changed its name from Frias Transportation Infrastructure and has produced a system called RideIntegrity — was a spinoff of and operates independently of Frias Transportation Management, which owns five local taxi companies and two limousine companies.
Integrity is in the midst of a pilot program with the Nevada Taxicab Authority to test RideIntegrity in 300 cabs and limos in Southern Nevada. Three cab companies sent letters supporting Integrity to the Transportation Authority.
While the Taxicab Authority is on a similar track to evaluate GPS technology, it is running slightly behind the Transportation Authority’s efforts. The Taxicab Authority, which regulates Clark County’s 16 cab companies, is expected to have similar hearings and technology demonstrations in the late spring or early summer.
Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta.