Nevada lawmakers urged to study taxi, transport rules

The director of the agency that oversees the Nevada Transportation Authority and the Taxicab Authority on Wednesday urged lawmakers not to combine the two agencies until after an extensive study of the laws and regulations governing them.
Business and Industry Director Terry Reynolds said those laws and regulations date to the 1970s and the transportation industry has changed dramatically since then.
He pointed out transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft didn’t even exist when the rules were written.
“The taxi industry in many areas I can tell you is over-regulated,” he said.
The authorities are charged with licensing drivers and companies, regulating their operations including setting fees, citing and fining violators, even inspecting vehicles for safety violations.
Reynolds said one major issue the two authorities face is the compensation for their enforcement officers.
“We have constant turnover. It’s very difficult to get qualified people to come to work for us,” he said.
He said new officers regularly leave for more pay at other law enforcement agencies.
Reynolds also said it’s a tougher job now than it was years ago.
He said the regulations and laws need a major rewrite and update to meet today’s needs first.
“We need to tackle those issues first before considering consolidation,” he said.
And that review, Reynolds said, can’t be done in 30-60 days ahead of the 2023 Legislature, that it will require an interim study.
Dawn Gibbons, who chairs the Taxicab Authority board, also said filling vacancies is a serious problem. She said right now, her Reno office has just one supervisor and one investigator, the other posts are vacant.
“We haven’t been able to fill the other ones yet.”
Unlike the Taxicab Authority, she said the Transportation Authority has duties in all 17 Nevada counties and deals not just with cabs but limousines, shuttles, buses, movers and tow cars.
The Taxicab Authority deals solely with cabs in Clark County.
“They have to go all over the state except Clark County,” she said.
The Sunset Subcommittee recommended consolidating the two authorities in 2016 but the plan never made it through the Legislature.


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