Airport should do more for Uber, Lyft

Your Sept. 14 editorial about the effect of ridesharing on airport revenues noted that the McCarran gains almost $5 in round-trip revenue from ridesharing as opposed to round-trip revenue of $2 from taxis. What you did not mention is that the airport treats ridesharing drivers like a dangerous virus.

For instance, the airport provides only 69 slots for ridesharing cars to stage at the airport near Terminal 3 in an open lot with no element protection. Imagine having to sit in your car running the air conditioning on full blast in order to keep your car cool when the temperature is 117 degrees. Taxis have two covered staging lots with hundreds of parking spaces. Taxi air conditioners do not have to work as hard in their shaded area, thus saving fuel.

Taxis are only a quarter of a mile from the customer pickup point at each terminal. Rideshare drivers must travel a couple of miles to pick up passengers in the two parking garages, making their fuel costs excessive.

Passengers using ridesharing are also punished because they must carry their luggage from baggage claim over to the parking garage and then take an elevator to reach the rideshare pick-up area. This is a real problem for the handicapped, the elderly and families with young children.

In addition, mass confusion reigns in the pick-up area because there are no numbers or lettering that drivers could use to direct passengers to their location making pickups go much faster. Under the current system, hundreds of people are forced to walk up and down the rows of vehicles looking for a car with the right license plate number.

In the meantime, the parking authority is busy writing tickets because a driver didn’t park the proper way in the slot. Of course the paint is so faded in the parking slots that you can barely see the lines.

What is my point? Ridesharing provides almost three times the revenue per round trip that taxis do and therefore should be provided better opportunities at the airport to service passengers.

Thomas Osbeck


The writer is a local rideshare driver.

Math quiz

In recent stories on the rooftop solar issue, the Review-Journal has referred to that fact that the state Public Utilities Commission “determined there was a $16 million a year subsidy provided to net metering customers from non-solar customers.” How does it come to pass that non-solar customers wound up subsidizing the solar people?

Where is the math on this, how does it work?

On its face, it looks like NV Energy passed on some type of loss with solar users to all the other customers. The $16 million dollars, divided by the 32,000 thousand solar users who now make their own electricity, calculates to $500 per solar installation. Is that it?

How did the PUC come up with this? Residential solar producers either sell a little excess energy or buy a little extra on the basis of their consumption. NV Energy does not have the capital expense of the solar equipment or responsibility for its upkeep.

The solar installations thus far have supplanted a demand to NV Energy for 270 megawatts. This output exceeds most of the individual power plants NV Energy has engaged in building in the past few years. Crescent Dunes is rated to do 110 megawatts and requires a huge storage capacity for transmission. The cost was $975 million, or $8.9 million per megawatt.

The 32,000 solar customers generating 270 megawatts paid out an average of $18,000 or so for their installations, collectively spending around $576 million for generation and zero dollars for transmission — net cost of $2.1 million per megawatt. The solar investors are capitalizing for solar equipment at a fraction of the cost that NV Energy expends. So, NV Energy maintains the transmission infrastructure that the solar panel owners do not use, and they get to wet their beaks with the return on solar panel homeowner investment.

So how about it? Can we see the math on the $16 million?

Jim Cassidy


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