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Uber and Lyft Get Nevada Permits, Plan Vegas Launches

It's a hard-won victory.

Nitrozac & Snaggy

The Nevada Transportation Authority on Monday approved permits allowing Uber and Lyft to operate in the desert state. The NTA had adopted regulations governing ride-hailing in the state on Friday.

An Uber spokesperson told Re/code that on the heels of the permit approval the company plans to launch soon in both Las Vegas and Reno, but no exact dates are set. Lyft is also planning an imminent entrance into Vegas.

“As Lyft continues to expand its national footprint, Sin City was the next natural step,” a spokesperson said. “Many people in Vegas work non-traditional hours, sometimes getting off work late at night or early in the morning, so having a safe and reliable way to get home is extremely important.”

It’s a hard-won victory for the ride-hailing companies, which have battled for legitimacy in Nevada for years. Las Vegas is a major tourist destination that is poorly served by a limited number of cabs, making casino-hopping a major pain during busy events like the annual CES gadget show.

Ride-sharing in Vegas isn’t entirely a done deal yet — officials of Clark County, which is where Las Vegas resides, are finalizing their own local ordinance. There’s debate over whether this is legal under the new state ride-sharing regulations, but if it is then Uber and Lyft may need to apply for Clark County licenses before launching in Vegas.

Chelsea Wilson, a public policy communications manager at Lyft, said, “We want to be respectful of the TNC ordinance process taking place in Clark County and are hoping to be able to pass along additional information on the timing of a Vegas launch after the hearing tomorrow.”

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