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October 25, 2014

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Catch a ride in Las Vegas with new smartphone app

Image

Steve Marcus

A Bell Transportation limousine driver talks to passengers after picking them up at McCarran International Airport on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009.

Starting today, hailing a limousine or town car in Las Vegas is as easy as hitting a button on your smartphone.

The new Ride Genie app from locally-based Integrity Vehicle Solutions Co. is the first electronic hailing system in the state. The technology has already been installed in 800 vehicles belonging to five transportation companies in Las Vegas, according to company president Mark James.

Pulling up the app lets riders choose what kind of vehicle they want — options include limousines, SUVs and town cars. Riders also get an estimated fare for the trip.

With the press of a button, the order is complete and the nearest available car is dispatched.

Once the ride is over, there’s no need to fumble with cash. Just step out of the car and the ride is automatically charged to the passenger’s credit card with a receipt sent via email.

The option to hail taxis isn’t available yet but should be added to the app within two months, James said.

Ride Genie is similar to technology used by ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. But Uber and Lyft haven’t made it to Las Vegas yet, in part because their model doesn’t meet the strict requirements placed on taxi and limousine drivers.

Ride Genie attempts to bridge that gap by pairing the convenience of new technology with the reliability of established companies.

“It’s different because we are working solely with the incumbent service providers,” James said. “We’re not working with people that are just using private cars working outside the regulatory framework.”

Ride Genie is available in Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.

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