The taxi rate increases approved by the Nevada Taxicab Authority in October have been implemented.
The weeklong process of changing the meters of the more than 3,000 cabs used by Clark County’s 16 taxi companies began earlier this week and should be completed by the weekend.
The authority board on Oct. 20 authorized an 8 percent rate increase to the second-highest rate in the nation among cities with a tourism-based economy. Honolulu has the nation’s highest rate.
The board authorized rates to climb from $3.30 for the initial drop to $3.45, 20 cents per one-thirteenth of a mile ($2.60 a mile) to 22 cents per one-thirteenth of a mile ($2.86 a mile) and wait-time charges of $30 an hour to $32.40 an hour. The $2 McCarran International Airport pickup fee remains unchanged. The per-mile rates include a 20-cent-per-mile fuel surcharge.
The rates now posted inside cabs rounds up the rate to quarter miles and removes the fuel surcharge, listing the rate as 67 cents per quarter-mile or $2.68 a mile.
It was the first taxi rate increase since November 2008.
In order for vehicle inspectors and investigators to unseal the meters, make the necessary programming changes and reseal them, the Taxicab Authority needed permission to use budget reserve funds to pay overtime to the personnel making the changes.
It took several weeks to get that approval and officials began making the changeover after a busy period for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Earlier this week, the Taxicab Authority authorized additional cabs on the streets during the board’s annual review of medallions.
The authority board created a new category of geographically restricted medallions to better serve neighborhoods and awarded 10 of them on a temporary basis to each company. Taxis will be staged at neighborhood casinos throughout the valley to be closer to residents needing cab service.
The new medallions would only permit pickups north of Charleston Boulevard, west of Rainbow Boulevard, south of Warm Springs Road and east of Eastern Avenue. Some cab companies have said they would compensate drivers at a higher rate in those cabs since they wouldn’t have as many customers as they would within the resort corridor.
In addition to the 10 new temporary geographically restricted medallions per company, the board authorized each company to get five new medallions that can be used any time — two immediately and one per month for the next three months.
They also agreed to allow five weekend medallions per company, usable from noon, Thursdays to 2 p.m., Mondays.
Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter @RickVelotta.