Uber in Lake Tahoe
June 9, 2024

Uber in Lake Tahoe

Yes, there is Uber in Lake Tahoe, but it can be a bit tricky, especially in the off-season. So here are some things you should know if you’re planning to use the service during a visit:

  1. South Lake Tahoe, California is a much larger city than it’s sister city Stateline, Nevada even though one flows into another seamlessly. Because of the size of South Lake Tahoe, you’ll have a much easier time getting an Uber if you call for one while standing in South Lake Tahoe than you will if you’re physically in Nevada. This is because…….(see #2)
  2. California Uber drivers can only pick up riders in California, but they can drop them off in California or Nevada (or any state). The reverse is also true: Nevada drivers can only pick up riders in Nevada, but can drop them off in any state. So …. (see #3)
  3. If you’re gambling at Harrah’s, Harvey’s, Bally’s, the Golden Nugget, or one of the other Stateline casinos or if you’re at the Crystal Bay Club in north Lake Tahoe and you can’t find a ride to your destination in California, try walking across the state line into California and trying again.
  4. Conversely, if you’re in South Lake Tahoe and you want to improve your chance of getting someone to drive you to Incline Village or Crystal Bay at the north end of the lake, make sure you’re standing in Nevada when you make your ride request.
  5. Uber drivers don’t have a choice when it comes to accepting or declining rides that originate in other states. The Uber Driver map actually turns gray when Uber drivers enter a state that they’re not registered in, so they are cut off and can’t receive ride requests until they re-enter their home state. So …. (see #6)
  6. If you’re near the border with California or Nevada and you’re having no luck finding a ride, don’t give up too quickly. Drivers who are dropping off in a different state can’t see your request until they return to their home state. So it might be the case that there are in fact drivers available, they’re just not visible to the Uber app because they’re still physically in the other state. As a Nevada Uber driver, I often find that the moment my car crosses over into Nevada after a California drop-off, I get one or two ride requests that have been waiting in limbo.
  7. Keep your local Uber drivers in the loop, when possible. If you live in the Tahoe area and frequently need Uber rides at the same time or on the same day of the week or you know of a big event coming up in the community, don’t be afraid to let your driver know that. Uber drivers have no easy and accurate way to know when demand will be high, so we might inadvertently be offline during a busy time. Also, for drivers who are based at home (meaning, they don’t drive around waiting for ride requests), it’s fast and easy to log in to the Uber driver app, accept a ride request, and then go back offline again after the ride ends.

That’s about it for the basics of booking an Uber in Lake Tahoe. The main thing to keep in mind is that, especially during the peak of the summer and winter seasons, it usually takes longer to catch an Uber than it would in most big cities and if you have to be picked up by a specific time (such as when you’re heading to the airport), it’s best to spend the extra money and pre-book one.