Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)
The news ahead of Formula 1’s inaugural Grand Prix on the Las Vegas Strip has not been great since the event was announced, but the attempt to capitalize on the event has only increased: This week, the Taxicab Authority Board decided that all event fares will include a $15 surcharge, allegedly to compensate for the expected influx of non-tipping Europeans.
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These surcharges will be added to so-called “flat fare” trips, but an additional surcharge will be added to metered rides as well. You can check out the list of “zones” eligible for flat-fare trips here — just make sure to tack $15 onto the listed pricing.
According to the Taxicab Authority Board, that surcharge is fully necessary “to encourage full workforce participation.” Apparently, there’s some worry that cab drivers will be less inclined to work on the busy event weekend. Not only is the city expecting an influx of European riders who don’t conform to the tipping customs of the U.S., but traffic is going to be abysmal with the main arteries of the city shut down to facilitate the race.
By December 5, all data from the Grand Prix weekend rides must be submitted to the Taxicab Authority Board, where officials will decide whether or not the mandatory surcharge is worth implementing in future years, or for other special events, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
This so-called “European surcharge” might not stop at taxi rides, though; Instagram user @vegasstarfish (who provides a kind of insider guide to the city) claims that “it is expected more fees and auto gratuities will appear citywide.”
The hyper-expensive Las Vegas Grand Prix has run into ample amounts of criticism from fans and locals alike. Grandstand tickets priced at $2,500 actually seemed to be reasonable when compared to the hotel/ticket packages that have peaked above $100,000, and many visitors have been disappointed to find their views ruined or their traffic increased as a result of F1-related construction.