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Revenue from ride-hailing firms boost Nevada authority’s budget

As more and more drivers with ride-hailing services take to Nevada roads, their impact is being felt at the department charged with overseeing them.

Revenue from ride-hailing companies makes up about half of the Nevada Transportation Authority’s yearly budget, Dawn Gibbons, chairwoman of the authority commission, said Thursday during a report to the Assembly Committee on Growth and Infrastructure.

Of the authority’s $5.6 million fiscal 2020-21 budget, revenue derived from transportation network companies accounted for $2.53 million, “a big portion of our budget,” Gibbons said during the meeting in Carson City.

The rest comes from the state highway fund, $2.58 million, and $467,126 from money generated from regulating and licensing motor carriers.

“We have limited resources, but they’ve been very good,” Gibbons said.

Uber accounts for 67 percent of the revenue from ride-hailing services, while Lyft makes up the remaining 33 percent.

As of Jan. 31, 41,869 people drove for ride-hailing services in the state, Gibbons said.

Aside from ride-hailing companies, the authority also oversees other motor carriers, including tow truck companies, tour buses, charter limousines and autonomous vehicles. The authority also oversees 10 taxi companies, all located outside of Clark County.

Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle, D-Sparks, asked about the tracking of business licensing since the Legislature’s 2017 passage of Senate Bill 554. That bill requires Lyft and Uber drivers to obtain an annual $200 state business license from the secretary of state within six months of joining one of the companies.

Authority Commissioner David Newton said that to his knowledge, nearly all of the drivers in the state have signed up for the licenses.

Newton said that based on his conversations with representatives of both Lyft and Uber, the companies believe 80 percent to 90 percent of their drivers have obtained their business licenses.

With the transportation authority unable to produce hard numbers on the percentage of ride-hailing service drivers with business licenses, Sprinkle questioned the validity of the provided information.

The new law took effect Oct. 1, which was the deadline for any driver who signed up to work for one of the services before Oct. 1, 2017. Gibbons said the authority has been unable to get hard numbers yet from the secretary of state.

The authority recently requested additional information, including addresses of ride-hailing service drivers, in order to track them more accurately.

Gibbons said the authority intends to update the Assembly before the end of the legislative session with hard numbers once it completes an audit of numbers provided by the secretary of state’s office.

“We will make sure you get those numbers,” she said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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