Limo Restrictions in Las Vegas

Posted on July 7, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Measure calls for limiting new licenses and legislative study

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill aimed at slowing the growth of the chauffeured transportation industry in Las Vegas was signed by Gov. Kenny Guinn.

The measure restricts the number of new livery licenses that can be approved by the Transportation Services Authority, which governs all Nevada ground transportation except for taxicabs in Las Vegas.

The TSA will not be allowed to grant more than two new vehicle licenses per company during the next year. Applications that were on file with the TSA before the measure was signed are exempt.

The measure also calls for a one-year study into the limousine market in Las Vegas. It will “determine whether or not an allocation system [for licenses] is necessary or appropriate,” said Keith Sakelhide, attorney for the TSA.

The study will be conducted by a legislative committee and its findings will determine the life of the two-vehicle restriction.

The new law also imposes a $100 a year fee for each livery vehicle or limousine in service, with the money going to the TSA.

The amendment was added after another measure that would have required operators to pay an additional licensing fee of $400 per year (April 2003, page 20) failed to gain legislators approval, Sakelhide said.

The size of the limousine market in Las Vegas – Sakelhide estimated that there are nearly 850 limousines and about 30 operators in Las Vegas – concerns some operators.

The Las Vegas limo market, according to Steve Cunningham of Fox Limousines, “is exclusively driven by incoming unsuspecting consumers. If you have an open market, you can have some predatory gypsies [who might take] advantage of people.”

The local tourism industry could get “a black eye if tourists receive bad service,” he added.

At least one operator disagreed with the measure, calling it “another attempt by the big guys to squeeze out the little guys.”

“It is a fallacy to presume that prohibition (even if temporary) of growth or expansion within an industry will provide a stabilizing influence,” A.R. “Bob” Fairman, of Carson City-based No Stress Express, wrote in a letter to the Nevada Legislature. “To the contrary, impeding competition will neither serve the public good, not will it offer economic longevity.”

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