There was some commotion at the end of last month in the Silver State around whether Uber would be able to muscle its way into the transportation, ahem: “ridesharing” market. Whoever their Las Vegas business planning lawyer is, they did an excellent job, at least so far, in successfully pulling it off, though the operation didn’t go off without a hitch. There were a couple of sticky moments during which the outcome for the ride sharing, mobile app company’s future in Nevada were uncertain, but it seems they’ve managed to pull through. For now.
Most recently, the Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto tried to block Uber from taking over—or setting foot (or hub cab) in—the market by submitting a request for a temporary restraining order against the San Francisco-based ridesharing service. Their Las Vegas business planning lawyer had to have felt a surge of relief when Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon denied Masto’s request, but Uber must be all too aware that it was a close call, seeing as it still faces “temporary restraining orders…in Washoe County and Carson City.”
For many consumers, Uber is the next big thing, and it’s the best. Cheaper, quicker and easier than calling a car service or hailing a taxi, Uber will drive up competition (no pun intended), according to excited resident Bradley Khuns. Like Khunds, Judge Herndon doesn’t seem to believe that rider safety is necessarily compromised by Uber’s self-governing (rather than state-regulated) operational standards.
Though not every consumer is on board with the technologically and entrepreneurially innovative service: granted Kimberly Maxson-Rushton is the executive director and general counsel for the Livery Operators Association and was chairwoman of the Nevada Transportation Authority (NTA) under Gov. Kenny Guinn, but she vehemently opposes Uber’s move into the Silver State on terms of limited liability, safety risks for passengers, and its “willful violation of Nevada’s laws.”
Well, while Uber’s attorney is certainly celebrating, what would another Las Vegas business planning lawyer say about the whole strategy? Robert A. Ryan, who is licensed in both Maryland and Nevada, might point to the legal reality that Uber’s “ridesharing” rather than “transport providing” line has worked in other states so far. Nevada might be hard pressed to come up with a solid case against Uber’s seemingly ingenious business and marketing tactics.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t give up. Nevada’s taxi industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the nation, with Las Vegas rates being the second-most-expensive in America. While almost any Las Vegas business planning lawyer would say these circumstances make the state a ripe arena for competition to taxis, Uber’s contention with the NTA’s efforts to shut it down will have to be pretty fierce. Already “Nevada regulators have…impounded at least 15 cars” (as of October 31st), and reports of NTA investigators posing as riders in order to alert enforcement officers of Uber cars and drivers to better issue citations are thrilling some and angering others.
Good news for the consumer, though: if you’re not afraid of the public health and safety risks that Uber poses according to its opposition, the rides are cheap, convenient, and best of all—not illegal for you, even if the future of Uber itself is still somewhat uncertain in Nevada.