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Bi-level decisions of vacant taxi drivers traveling towards taxi stands in customer-search: Modeling methodology and policy implications


  • Wong, R.C.P.
  • Szeto, W.Y.
  • Wong, S.C.


This study adopts the sequential logit approach to modeling bi-level decisions of vacant taxi drivers in customer-search. The first level decision is about whether the drivers will travel to one of the nearest taxi stands after dropping off their customers and the second level decision is on whether the drivers will join the queue at the nearest taxi stand once they have arrived there. A stated preference survey was conducted to interview 258 urban taxi drivers about their choices of the two level decisions. The statistical test shows that search districts, travel distance from the customer׳s drop-off location to the designated taxi stand, the congestion level on the way of cruising, as well as the preference for traveling towards taxi stands are found to be the significant factors of the first level decision. This study also confirms that the queue lengths of both taxis and passengers at taxi stands, the expected customer-search distance after leaving taxi stands, and the preference of vacant taxi drivers for staying at taxi stands are found to be significantly influence the second level decision. The likelihood ratio tests for market segmentation analysis demonstrate the variations in preferences of taxi drivers operated in different taxi shifts and service areas. Some policy implications on introducing more taxi stands and improving the utilization rates of taxi stands are also discussed. We believe that the proposed sequential logit modeling approach, findings, and discussions are useful for developing micro-simulation models in terms of evaluating the performance of road traffic networks with taxi services and for developing simulation-based optimization models to answer policy questions related to taxi services.

Suggested Citation

  • Wong, R.C.P. & Szeto, W.Y. & Wong, S.C., 2014. "Bi-level decisions of vacant taxi drivers traveling towards taxi stands in customer-search: Modeling methodology and policy implications," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 73-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:73-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2014.02.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Watson, Peter L. & Westin, Richard B., 1975. "Transferability of disaggregate mode choice models," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 227-249, May.
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    5. Wai Yuen Szeto & Ryan Cheuk Pong Wong & Sze Chun Wong & Hai Yang, 2013. "A time-dependent logit-based taxi customer-search model," International Journal of Urban Sciences, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 184-198, July.
    6. Wen-Chen Lee & Bor-Wen Cheng, 2008. "Incorporating e-Technology to Advantage in a Greener Taxi Industry and its Impact on Driving Performance and Safety," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 569-588, June.
    7. Yang, Hai & Ye, Min & Tang, Wilson H. & Wong, S.C., 2005. "Regulating taxi services in the presence of congestion externality," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-40, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shi, Ying & Lian, Zhaotong, 2016. "Optimization and strategic behavior in a passenger–taxi service system," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 1024-1032.
    2. repec:eee:transa:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:11-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1256-:d:142083 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:transb:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:559-578 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Anil Yazici, M. & Kamga, Camille & Singhal, Abhishek, 2016. "Modeling taxi drivers’ decisions for improving airport ground access: John F. Kennedy airport case," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 48-60.
    6. repec:eee:transb:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:222-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3003-:d:165490 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:trapol:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:132-140 is not listed on IDEAS


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