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Lyft to have smaller Las Vegas presence than Uber with 2,500 cars

The ride-hailing company Lyft will only be a fraction of the size of its rival Uber when it opens for business in Nevada, requesting a maximum of 2,500 cars for licensing its first two years of operation compared with the unlimited number sought by Uber.

San Francisco-based Lyft submitted a revised application to the Nevada Transportation Authority requesting not more than 2,500 licenses and the required $150,000 application fee. Initially, Lyft filed under an earlier emergency regulation process that didn’t list the number of vehicles it planned to have.

The Transportation Authority has tentatively scheduled a Sept. 11 meeting at which a public hearing would be conducted and the three-member commission could adopt regulations that would enable transportation network companies to operate.

Lyft’s licensing application also spells out its pricing structure, which is almost identical to Uber’s proposal.

Lyft’s proposed pricing is based on a base charge, the total miles traveled, total minutes traveled, a $1.55 “trust and safety fee” and the state’s 3 percent tax on ground transportation.

Lyft and Uber will charge a $2.40 base charge, $1.85 per mile, 30 cents per minute and a $5 cancellation fee if a customer cancels more than five minutes after first hailing a ride. There’s also a $5 minimum fare. Uber’s “safe rides” fee is $1.

Lyft also filed a “Plus Pricing” price list in its application, a higher class of operation involving vehicles that seat six passengers. Lyft’s “Plus Pricing” lists a $15 base charge, $5 per mile, 90 cents per minute and a minimum fare of $25. The cancellation penalty and the trust and safety fee are the same.

The application also noted “Prime Time,” a dynamic pricing model designed to stimulate more drivers on the road during busy periods. Lyft’s “Prime Time” pricing is capped at 200 percent, or three times standard rates.

In a related matter, the Las Vegas Convention Center is expected to have differing drop-off and pick-up procedures for ride-hailing customers based on the size of the trade show or convention using the facility.

Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said Wednesday that the size of the show and how show managers use the facility’s transportation infrastructure will dictate where and how drivers will be routed around the convention center campus.

Generally, Ralenkotter said, Uber and Lyft drivers will be directed to an area used by limousines on the east side of the convention facility for most shows. But that could be different based on the size of the show and how a show’s attendees tend to use ride-hailing.

Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show, for example, lobbied heavily for the legalization of transportation network companies in Nevada knowing that CES attendees would be heavy users of Uber and Lyft.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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