Limo Companies OK’d to Use Ride Genie

Nine limousine service in Southern Nevada will now be allowed to charge customers additional fees when they use the new Ride Genie smartphone application. But some criticize the charges as being too high.

A new smartphone app called Ride Genie allows visitors to Southern Nevada to summon a limousine when they’re partying in Las Vegas, heading to the airport, or otherwise using deluxe transportation in the region. But critics say the fees being charged to use the app, racked up in addition to credit card fees, are too expensive.

The Nevada Transportation Authority, which regulates the operation of limousines and buses in Nevada, unanimously approved the increased tariff rules at its August meeting, and critics immediately complained they were too high. The tariffs approved are $1 to $2 more per hour than standard rates when using the app, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In one case, a 7-passenger SUV would charge $55 for the first hour and $27.50 per subsequent half hour or less, compared to $53 and $26.50 last October.

Jack Bond, who is developing a competing transportation app that will be available later this year, said that companies would collect an estimated $400 million a year in fees based on 27 million annual taxi rides in Southern Nevada, though it would only cost about $1,000 a year to track Southern Nevada’s taxi fleet.

“Adding a $5 fee on top of a $75 limousine ride is excessive,” Bond said.

Authority Chairman Andrew MacKay countered that no one is being compelled to use the app. “The way we look at it is this is a totally optional service,” MacKay said. “A customer doesn’t have to pay for it if he doesn’t want it.”

Ride Genie was produced by Las Vegas-based Integrity Vehicle Solutions. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Customers must fill out a registration form, which includes providing a credit card or Pay Pal account number for ride payments.