When most Know It A.L.L. news readers think of the term “long hauling” their thoughts automatically focus on Mr. Admin’s legendary nether regions. We can talk more about that if you email me directly.
But, amazingly enough, there’s another meaning to long hauling and it has gotten some Vegans—and Vegas visitors—a bit peeved. Again.
Long hauling refers to taxi cab drivers who take a longer route to the requested destination than required. That’s a practice that’s been going on for as long as there have been cabs and in most every major city in the world.
Several years ago a group of tourists stepped out of a NYC hotel and hailed a cab. It was 7:20 p.m. and we had until 8:00 p.m. to get to the off-Broadway show. We didn’t know where the theater was—couldn’t find it on the map--but the driver assured us he did. He drove all around, up one block and down another and we began to get worried we wouldn’t make the show. He assured us we would and, sure enough, we pulled up right in front of the theater at about 7:58. We thanked the cabbie profusely and tipped him well.
After the musical we went to a nearby bar and had a few. Then we walked another block down to another bar. Afterwards we were just about to hail another cab and I suddenly stopped and pointed. There was our hotel just down a nearby street, not more than 3 blocks from the theater. We were scammed! But the driver was so smooth about it and since we actually over-tipped him for all his “effort”, all we could do was laugh. From then on we asked a hotel employee. Now days we would just use a GPS.
While it would seem easier to long haul on the streets of New York City, it happens all the time in Las Vegas, too. This article in the Review-Journal calls it an “epidemic”.
The most common long haul involves rides to and from McCarran airport. Ever since the “airport connector” was constructed (creating a high-speed yet longer distance route via I-215/I-15) long hauling has been commonplace. It sure feels like one is going faster since it’s freeway all the way but, in reality, the stoplights of Tropicana Ave (or other surface street) are far less expensive.
Here’s a very creative long haul as told by a cabbie:
Driver Kellie Obong, for example, recalled being the second of two cabs ferrying a large group from the airport to Bellagio in December. She dutifully followed the first driver - to the Beltway, then south on I-15 to the Blue Diamond Road exit, before turning north on Las Vegas Boulevard, stretching a $15 fare without waiting time to $50.
VEGAS VISITORS: If you are at the airport and staying at a Strip hotel (or vice versa) and the taxi driver takes you on the interstate then, most likely, you are being long hauled (see map, right, for routes). We would recommend you report the driver to the Taxicab Authority and not leave a tip like we did in New York...
Here are approximate minimum fares between McCarran airport and most hotels in Las Vegas.