Taxis will be hard to catch on New Year’s Eve |

Taxis will be hard to catch on New Year’s Eve

Patience, preparedness and planning are helpful when taking a taxi or shuttle on New Year’s Eve.

Taxi companies and casino transportation departments plan to increase the number of vehicles on the road. However, with the number of people expected to need rides, every seat is likely to be filled all through the night.

“We’ll have a couple extra people on, running all night and into the next morning,” said Jim Rafferty, Harveys senior vice president of corporate marketing. “And we’re expecting big crowds.”

“It’s a hard night,” said Charles Olin, owner of No. 1 Taxi. “Ten thousand people want a cab at midnight and it stays that way until 6 a.m.

“Be prepared.”

Olin has one car to put on the road and plans to “pick up local clientele as usual with the same prices.”

Larger companies are preparing to put out extra vehicles.

Russ Rummelt, owner of Paradise Taxi, is installing meters on two new vehicles to bring his fleet of vans and cars to seven. If time permits, he hopes to add two more for the holiday.

Once law enforcement closes U.S. Highway 50 around 8:30 p.m., Rummelt said his taxis will drop off and pick up near Tahoe Toms gas station at the corner of Park Avenue.

“As soon as we drop off someone, we’ll come back to that area,” he said. “We’ll be running all night long.”

Rummelt warns that cabs will be charging extra that night. He expects to charge about 25 percent higher rates, but he’s heard of drivers charging several times the usual fee.

A. J. Robinson, owner of Sunshine Taxi and Yellow Cab, is putting taxi plates on a new car to have ready for New Year’s Eve.

“We have 25 plus cars and I’m sure they’ll all be out,” said Robinson who uses independent operators with their own vehicles.

Robinson offers several tips to people needing cab transportation:

1. Be dressed and ready to walk out the door before you call a cab, then get your coffee or cocktail. That’s especially true if its snowing and you have extra gear to put on.

There are so many calls that night, that a driver might be two houses down and able to pick you up quickly, Robinson said.

“If he sits at the door for 15 minutes (waiting for a customer), it throws service off for others.”

2. After midnight, calls swamp taxi dispatchers. If you can’t get through, walk to the closest main road where taxis are sure to pass frequently and flag down a cab.

3. Because of the volume, taxis don’t take reservations on New Year’s Eve so don’t clog phones asking for them.

“We’re trying to do our best to be efficient enough to serve everybody at their convenience,” Robinson said.

4. When possible, people who need to get to work are served first.

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