To one cab company’s chagrin, long-hauling pilot program was already approved

Taxicab Authority Police stop taxis at a long haul checkpoint near the entrance to the airport tunnel exiting McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Friday, June 8, 2012.



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Frias Transportation Infrastructure shows Las Vegas Sun reporter Rick Velotta how their newest app RideIntegrity works. The new app is suppose to virtually eliminate all long hauling issues.

Long Haul Checkpoint

Taxicab Authority Police Senior Investigator I. Williams stop taxi driver Tesfaye Beshah at a long haul checkpoint near the entrance to the airport tunnel exiting McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Friday, June 8, 2012. Beshah got a ticket for long hauling. Launch slideshow »

What some had expected to be a legal skirmish between Southern Nevada’s two largest taxicab groups fizzled Tuesday as the Nevada Taxicab Authority outlined details of a pilot program to test the RideIntegrity computerized regulatory system.

Lawyers representing Yellow-Checker-Star and Frias Transportation Management had prepared legal briefs Friday and Monday in preparation for a hearing on the pilot program.

There was only one problem: The pilot program had already been approved.

“There may have been some misinterpretations, but we actually approved the pilot program at last month’s meeting,” said Ileana Drobkin, chairwoman of the Taxicab Authority, after Tuesday’s meeting.

Drobkin allowed Marc Gordon, who represented Yellow-Checker-Star, also known as YCS, to voice that company’s concerns, and the technology company affiliated with Frias — Frias Transportation Infrastructure, the developer of RideIntegrity — outlined details of the how the pilot program will work.

YCS could still try to block the implementation of the pilot program through an injunction.

The cloud-based vehicle monitoring system uses GPS technology to track the speed and routes of taxis and stores them in a database. The information obtained by the system could be used to detect the illegal long-hauling of taxi customers.

Under program parameters outlined by Frias, here’s how the RideIntegrity pilot program would work:

• The pilot program would last a minimum of six months and a maximum of a year and involve a minimum of 150 cabs. After six months of tests, a determination would be made on whether to continue for a full year.

• Frias will bear the cost of the program and will share information with the Taxicab Authority and any companies that voluntarily offer their cabs to be a part of the test.

• Voluntary participants will get real-time information on their vehicles through a computer-screen dashboard.

• When the pilot program ends, Frias will have 30 days to report its conclusions to the Taxicab Authority. The report will include the comprehensiveness and correctness of the data collected and details on the user interfaces the company has. Volunteer participants may separately report their findings to the authority at the same time.