The Bigger Picture: Politicians & Uber in Nevada (May 2015)

Dear Nevada Politicians,

Please VOTE FOR Ride Sharing in Nevada.

This debate has gone back and forth long enough. Fact: If Uber, Lyft, and all other ride-sharing companies are allowed to operate in Nevada, our society will benefit. Their services are an order of magnitude better on every relevant metric used to analyze this debate.


Uber and Lyft are safer than taxi cabs.


Drivers are rated. Riders are rated. It’s direct information to the company from the customer about their employees. That’s a feedback loop. If you’re a business owner, you understand that value. Also, if you have common sense. If you’re weird, rude, aggressive, inappropriate, or whatever else, Uber’s customers will let them know and the situation gets improved.


Taxi cabs often refuse to accept credit and debit cards. “Sorry, no cards.” Ever wondered why? Is it because of their desire to not claim the income? Less taxes paid?


Well, don’t worry, because in the ride-sharing economy, technology has been implemented to skip the entire wallet stage in the process. Not needing to have cash or a credit card to get a ride home is not only SAFE but also CONVENIENT. Drivers and Riders don’t need to carry cash. It’s also nice to know that if a loved one were to lose everything, they could borrow someone’s phone, call me, where I could then send a vehicle to their exact location to bring them home.


I have literally sat around a fire-pit in the back yard of a Beverly Hills mansion where 50 year old adults talked about the Ferraris they owned and how they love Uber because they can send an SUV to pick up their teenage children from tennis practice and bring them home, all while having watched on the screen. That’s actually the night I learned about Uber.


The absurd idea that women and men are safer in taxi cabs because they have better background checks misses the point entirely. It’s safer because there is a central database system (e.g. Uber computer servers) that knows exactly which driver was with which passenger. That means when someone disappears, there is a map of where they last were. TAXI CABS DON’T HAVE THIS FEATURE!!! What you can infer from this, is that taxi cab drivers get caught less!! Ugh.


Remove the barriers in place that will alleviate the amount of drunk drivers on the road. Make it easier for intoxicated persons to get home safely. I see a lot of billboards about “Zero Fatalities” in Nevada. Beneficial move #1? Uber and Lyft.


Did you know there are already laws in place for taxi cab drivers in Las Vegas to drive on certain roads as they exit the McCarran International Airport? Why? Because tourists were being defrauded by drivers who take the “better” way that just so happens to be an extra “x” dollars.

Ride sharing allows companies use technology to optimize efficiency. This efficiency is theoretically passed on down to customers. However, that should not be part of this debate. Let people pay for what they want to pay. If Nevadans want to pay Uber prices for Uber services, let them. If Nevadans want to pay taxi cab prices for taxi cab services, let them. Noted: Some people like old dirty leather, plastic scratched windows between the front seat and the back seat, and the strong smell of cigarettes. Thus, there is always a taxi industry waiting.

Some have lamented about Uber’s surge pricing when demand is high. It is a pain point with the system as nobody wants to pay more than they did the last time for a similar or shorter distance. But that’s not how an efficient pricing system works. With dynamic pricing Uber and Lyft can always guarantee a ride.

The first time I ever used the service, it was because Britt and I were stranded at 1am in a friend’s house, miles away from our own and had to be home to leave for a flight at 7am. We called 4 taxi cab companies. Every one said that they would be there in 15 minutes. At 3:30am, I downloaded Uber and entered my credit card information. In less than 2 minutes, we had a black car waiting for us outside. That’s accountability. Guaranteed rides.

At least with surge pricing, the customer has notice and knowledge of the increase in potential charges. I’d rather CHOOSE to pay more when I NEED a ride.

But this isn’t just about “Uber or Lyft”, it is about The SHARING ECONOMY. The sharing economy is transforming the way citizens make money and have access to amenities. 


Nevada is diversifying its economy emphasizing innovation and technology. We are putting a tremendous amount of effort into attracting companies like Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Google, Zappos, and many more. We do this to help our economy.


Question: Which companies are likely to partner with a company like Uber or Lyft? Let’s think about the future for a second. Driverless cars? Driverless semi-trucks? Electric versions? They will need a software partner who understands the logistics of the roadways. Think Uber meets Tesla meets Amazon.


Don’t let egos get in the way of a better Nevada economy and progressive society.


Embracing the ride sharing and the sharing economy will no longer put us ahead, it will make us part of the new normal. We are now behind all of the cities we are striving to grow with.


The business model proves to be successful in HUNDREDS of other cities across the world.


Do it for Nevadans.


Best Regards,

Kyle Steven Hess
Attorney At Law
3500 Lakeside Court, Suite 150
Reno, Nevada 89509

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