Getting around Las Vegas can be confusing and overwhelming for a novice traveler. Vegas is a touristy city, and even if it is a glorious and happy city, this comes with its fair share of challenges. One of these challenges is transportation, as moving from one place to the other and doing it on time is sometimes impossible when walking.
Thankfully, the city has invested a large share of its revenue into infrastructure. You can use trams, deuces, and shuttles. You can also hire a cab using the conventional way or hail one online using Uber or Lyft service.
But it is the traditional taxi (yeah, the one you call for by the roadside) constituting a central part of the travel industry in Vegas. They are conveniently located near casinos and hotels, and you can get into one without much fuss. They sort your transport needs promptly and therefore preferred when traveling short distances within the city, and from the airport to your hotel, for example.
Taxi Rates In Vegas
The taxi industry is full of crooked drivers who always want to get more than they deserve. They may ask you to pay more than the typical amount if they realize you are new to town. Others can take you through the longest route to lengthen the trip. Eventually, you end up paying more, which is not necessitated.
That is why the authorities came in to regulate the industry and bring order to benefit the taxi owner and the passengers. In Las Vegas-Nevada, the Nevada Taxicab Authority makes sure that the set tariffs are enforced by all cabs.
Every taxi in Vegas has a taximeter that records every detail of the trip. You enter into a cab, the driver inputs your destination and starts the trip. The navigation system will then suggest the shortest route, and your journey will commence.
The system has worked miracles in that you are arriving early at your destination (or at least as soon as the car can use the shortest possible route), and the driver makes more trips using less gas. And there is always that tip which tends to get fatter with fast arrival. So yes, drivers love the taximeter.
But how are the rates calculated?
The new taxi tariffs were last published in 2019 in the Official Tariffs Ordinance. They are binding to every cab operating in the compulsory driving area and work to ensure fairness in the sector. The tariffs are not to be undercut nor exceeded by either party.
This means you can pre-calculate the cost estimate of your trip to anywhere within the city. You can budget better when traveling to Vegas, considering all the taxi rides you may need.
Basic fee = $3.50
Per kilometer travelled fee = $2.76
Standing/waiting fee per hour = $32.40
These charges are, however, subject to surges and changes by the authority. However, they don’t veer far from the above estimates, so you can comfortably map your budget. Primarily, the costs are dependent on three things-the travel rate, the total time of the journey, and applicable taxi fare. You can get the cost estimate of the tax meter by calculating the cost over the shortest distance to your destination. Simple.
An extra $3 is charged when you pay using a credit card.
|Initial Activation of taximeter (First 1/8 Mile)||$3.50|
|Each Additional 1/12th Mile ($2.76 per mile)||$0.23|
|Waiting time per hour||$32.40|
|McCarran Airport Properties Fee Per Pick-Up||$2.40|
|Credit card fee (if applicable)||$3.00|
|Excise Tax added to all rates and fees||3% on Meter Total|
Taxi Fare From the Airport
Fares from the McCarran Airport to either of the three zones demarcated in Las Vegas are charged at a fixed rate. There are three zones (Zone 1, Zone 2, and Zone 3), and each zone has its fixed fare that the taxi will require.
If you travel outside these zones, additional fares will be charged as per the prevailing rate. Also, if you make stops over your journey but within the zone, you will pay more. After leaving the airport and making a stop, the minute you proceed with your journey is treated as a second trip which you will have to pay.
It’s good that you check if your hotel offers pickup using free shuttles at the airport to the hotel. You don’t have to pay when there is a free service, is it not so? This applies to the hotels on the Strip having dedicated hotel shuttles that ferry people to and from the airport.
In addition to the set fixed fares, the transport from the airport will cost you an extra $2 surcharge. The zoning fares apply only to direct trips.
That said, here are the different zones and their corresponding fares:
#Zone 1: Sunset North Rd to Tropicana
Set fixed taxi fare: $19
Destinations in the zone are:
- Thomas and Mack center
- Alexis Park All Suite Resort
- Excalibur Hotel Casino
- Howard Johnson by Wyndham
- Mandalay Bay Resort
- Luxor Hotel and Casino
- Delano Las Vegas
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
- MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
- Tropicana Las Vegas
- Desert Rose Resort
- Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
- Motel 6 Tropicana
- OYO Hotel and Casino Las Vegas
#Zone 2: Tropicana North to Flamingo Rd
Set fixed taxi fare: $23
Destinations in the zone are:
- Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas
- Bellagio Las Vegas
- Horseshoe Las Vegas
- Jet Luxury at The Signature Hotel
- Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations
- Paris Las Vegas
- The Signature at MGM Grand
- New York-New York Hotel & Casino
- Park MGM
- Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
- Vdara Hotel & Spa
- Marriott’s Grand Chateau
- The Orleans Hotel & Casino
- Travelodge by Wyndham
- Polo Towers
- ARIA Resort & Casino
- Planet Hollywood Resort
#Zone 3: Flamingo North to The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod
Set fixed taxi fare: $27
Destinations in the zone are:
- Artisan Hotel Boutique
- Las Vegas Marriott
- Caesars Palace
- The LINQ Hotel/Experience
- Circus Circus Hotel, Casino
- Mirage Resort & Casino
- Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
- The Palazzo at The Venetian
- Flamingo Las Vegas
- Residence Inn Marriott Conv. Ctr.
- Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
- Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
- Harrah’s Hotel and Casino Las Vegas
- SAHARA Las Vegas Hotel
- Hilton Grand Vacations at The Flamingo
- The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod
- Hilton Grand Vacations on Paradise
- SpringHill Suites
- Hilton Grand Vacations on the Las Vegas Strip
- Treasure Island (TI)
- Las Vegas Convention Center
- The Venetian Las Vegas
- Palace Station Hotel and Casino
- Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa
- The Palms Casino Resort
- Westgate Las Vegas
- Resorts World Wynn Las Vegas
Taxi Fare From McCarran Airport to Downtown Las Vegas
The taxi fare from the airport to anywhere outside the zoned areas (Zone 1/2/3) is pated using the taximeter. For every direct trip to downtown, there are three charges: A standing fee of around $32.40 per hour, a basic fee of $3.50, and the price per mile traveled of $2.76.
You will spend anything from $32.40 to $50 depending on the total waiting time, and distance to your destination. Don’t forget to thank the driver for the fast and safe trip with a good tip!
Vegas Taxi Fare Calculator
Knowing how much it will cost you is important and allows you to plan way ahead. You know what you are supposed to pay for taxi fare if you can accommodate the amount into your budget. Even if the amounts that taxi fare calculators give are estimates only, the amount falls or rises with a small amount.
Therefore you can conclusively know the gray area of the fare before going there. The way they work is you input your destination and pickup spot on the system, and the software runs thousands of algorithms and analyses to come up with the most current estimated fare.
So can you depend on the tool to calculate the actual amount of taxi fare? No, but it gives you as the traveler the much-needed clarity on the amount to expect as fare when you hail a cab in Vegas. It is an essential tool to use if you want to stay budget-cautious while in Vegas.
You can also get more information on the taxi fares rates on the Nevada Taxicab Authority website. They list the fare prevailing published approximations on their site, so it can greatly benefit you from making wrong fare assumptions.
How Much Should I Tip a Taxi Driver in Vegas?
Tipping is big in the US, and almost everywhere there is a service given, tips are almost an expectation from the patrons. The same goes for taxi rides in Vegas. Tipping usually falls on 10-20% of your ride cost.
If you traveled from McCarran Airport to Mandalay Bay, where there is a fixed zoned fare of $19, then your trip will be between $2-$4 depending on how much you enjoyed the ride and your generosity. However, you do not have to give tips to bad experiences and rude drivers.
A taxi ride in Vegas is not the cheapest. It is, however, one of the fastest means to get around in Vegas. The city is usually packed with all kinds of people and activities and can be overwhelming to meander through for visitors. Run from the stress and buzz of the city by enjoying a smooth cab drive to your hotel from the airport.
Alternatively, you can use cheaper options like Lyft or Uber to get around as well. Also, confirm with your hotel if they offer free shuttle services to their hotel from the airport. You can save some dollars and enjoy a classic shuttle ride for free. No problem, you can express your gratitude later.