Las Vegas company aims to start Pahrump taxi service

A second group will be applying for a permit to operate a taxi service in Pahrump. This time it’s a well-established Las Vegas company called Executive Coach and Carriage, which also plans to start up a shuttle service from Pahrump to Las Vegas.

The previous cab company, Pahrump Valley Taxi, shut down in January. The Nevada Transportation Authority suspended owner Jit Mann’s license in March; the NTA has scheduled a revocation hearing for July 2.

The last operator of a shuttle from Pahrump to Las Vegas was Regent Holidays, which began operating a 55-passenger bus, the Pahrump Express, in June 2008, but shut down in May 2009. The company cited the bad economy and lack of ridership.

Claire Pobliner, director of office services for Executive, dba in Pahrump as Integrity Taxi LLC, said their company started with six vehicles in 2003 as Coach and Carriage Limousine; a year later they started Star Limousine, which is now Executive Las Vegas, during which they went up to 86 vehicles. Now the company has 244 vehicles.

Executive runs shuttles to McCarran International Airport for Las Vegas resorts like the MGM Grand, Hard Rock and Mandalay Bay, as well as an interterminal shuttle, she said. They also have a charter bus service and limousine service. The owner of the company is an attorney, James Jimmerson.

The company also shuttles passengers from Pahrump to Las Vegas for medical appointments, after a request from the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services, Pobliner said. They carry Senior Dimensions and LogistiCare patients in fuel efficient cars such as a Toyota Prius or Scion, or with more passengers, flex-fuel vans.

“With our non-emergency medical transport, we pick up people here in Pahrump and bring them to a doctor. We transport them back and forth and they depend on us and they’ve been telling us that there’s this need out here for reliable transportation. They started asking us, ‘hey can you take me to the store?’ Or ‘can you take me there? I need help because there’s nowhere in Pahrump for me just to get around and I can’t afford it.’ That’s all we kept hearing,” Pobliner said.

“We found out the last taxi company that was out here, they were gouging people with their prices and their service was unreliable,” she said. “With our knowledge and background, we feel confident we’ll be able to provide timely transportation at a reasonable cost.”

Chris Argier, director of sales and marketing, said their application will be submitted to the Nevada Transportation Authority this week. They expect to find out in October if they’re approved.

Integrity Taxi would begin initially with three taxis and a van, Argier said. They are planning to use a temporary office at 7121 S. Homestead Rd., while they work out the usual zoning issues. Their drivers already live in Pahrump.

The shuttle service to Las Vegas would be priced at about $29.95 round trip, he said. There will be three daily round trips. They plan to use their relationships with Las Vegas casinos to arrange drop-off points at the Silverton, the MGM, possibly Harrah’s Casino and the south Las Vegas Strip transit center.

“We’ve got the resources to provide to the community, we’re not ever going to put them in a position where they’re waiting for a long period of time for a vehicle to get there. We have established wait times, when we say we’re going to be there in 15 minutes, we’ll be there,” Argier said.

He said the fact Executive already has a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, which is required of taxis, shuttles and limos, gives them an advantage. They will have a 24-hour mechanic service; if one car breaks down, a replacement car will be sent out.

The NTA wrote up Mann for the poor condition of his vehicles among many other citations.

Larry Miller, Rich Canapary and Tina DiNapoli, three former cab drivers for Pahrump Valley Taxi, already submitted application to start up Nye County Cab back in March. Miller said Integrity Taxi LLC intervened in their application last week, but it was 40 days after the period for intervenors expired. Nevertheless, he feels the Integrity request will delay their application.

Miller said it’s a possibility Pahrump could end up with two cab companies, but he doesn’t see that as a viable option.

“Basically, they think competition would be good out here, which I don’t get, because fares are set at the same price,” Miller said of his competitors.

He said Nye County Cab could offer better services because drivers already know their passengers and live in Pahrump.

Miller said they finished the application process last week.

“They would still be reviewing our application probably, would’ve had it done enough to give us a hearing date, but because of this, everybody is going to hold off because the commissioners have to figure out what they’re doing. We’re hoping they’re fair and stick by the rules,” Miller said.

Argier said Integrity Taxi is approaching local businesses and others in Pahrump with letters asking them to support their application to the NTA.

Argier said he sat in on an NTA hearing on Pahrump Valley Taxi, in which Mann complained some of his former drivers had gone rogue and were picking up passengers on their own.

“What’s most important is everybody is serving the community and the citizens have someone to turn to,” Argier said. “We just feel it’s important to have the community behind us. We want them to know we’re here. We want to be out here for them. We want to let them know exactly what kind of services we’re providing.”

Separately, a citizens’ group has been studying the possibility of a bus service within the Pahrump Valley. Pobliner said her company could possibly study that option in the future.

“If we ever get to the point where we can provide something else that the town people here want, we’re all ears,” she said.