April 11, 2012 - 12:33 pm
February operating results for Las Vegas taxi companies provided ammunition for both sides in the ongoing debate about the condition of the industry.
The number of trips driven with paying passengers hit 2.2 million during the month, 10 percent higher than February of last year, according to the Nevada Taxicab Authority. At the same time, total revenues where up 17.3 percent to $31.8 million, which includes only what is collected through the meter and not other revenue sources such as advertising.
Although the results were aided by the extra day for the Leap Year, cab company owners contended that they primarily reflect growing demand. As a result, the new medallions created last year and the extended hours allowed on some existing ones had been successfully absorbed, according to the companies.
A medallion is an operating permit that each cab must carry while in service. However, drivers pointed to the 2 percent drop in the number of trips per shift and the revenue increase of only 4.5 percent per shift as indicators that their incomes have been diluted by the new medallions.
This has become the fault line when companies request temporary medallions for major events; the companies say they need the medallions to provide good service, while drivers argue that this would further reduce their incomes.
The issue has come to a head at the last two authority meetings.
Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290.