Categories

MyLife
Opinions
OnTheNet
Shows
Miscellaneous
RandomKnowledge

Links

My Sister
S & M
Jiangzheng

Yiheng's Photos
Shuquan's Photos
Pei Yee's Photos
Yun Qin's Photos

#!/usr/bin/girl

Archive

February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
November 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009

   

Friday, October 26, 2007
Taxi Incentives -vvw

Due to work reasons, I have taken more taxi rides in October than in any typical year. Most of these rides are between my workplace and home. One thing I noticed from all these rides is that the price and route varies by quite a large extent.

Some of the routes are ridiculously roundabout. I can only conclude that these cab drivers are either dishonest or at best incompetent. For the case of dishonest drivers, the incentive to take a longer route is usually profit. The longer the route, the higher the fare.

Since I am currently reading Freakonomics, which has a whole chapter on incentives, I naturally wondered if calculating fare based on route (which affects distance and time) is one of the major factors contributing to unethical behaviours in taxi drivers.

Suppose that the cab fare is constant given a set of parameters (start point, destination and time of day), would it not be in the interest of the taxi driver to choose the most economical route (in terms of time spent and the amount of diesel used)? Of course, it would not be easy to determine how much a particular trip should cost. If the price is placed too high, taxis will avoid plying this route altogether.

Perhaps we could adopt a free market approach instead? It is usually rather efficient, no? Every person who wants to take a cab places a bid for his trip (maybe through the phone) and let the market forces work it out. As an added bonus, this would also solve the problem of taxi drivers not stopping for passengers just to get the on-call charge. Unfortunately, the drawback is confusion.

This entry is not intended to be an in-depth examination of the problem but rather, to point out that there seriously is a problem and to suggest some directions we can consider taking in solving the issue.


-- permalink --
Yiheng made
11:05 PM

2 Comments:

the free market approach assumes perfect knowledge of the traffic conditions, which may not be be perfect i.e jams, wet weather
and perfect knowledge would be too hard to implement
the difference in route is probably due to what cab drivers think is either 1) the shortest route(spatial) 2)the fastest route (temporal)
and these 2 usually differ, sometimes by a lot
and something to point out. actually cab drivers don't like long journeys; true they earn more from you, but in the long run, it means they pick up less passengers. if your journey was say, half an hour and they earned 20 bucks from you, it would have been better for them to make two 10 min trips and earn 15 bucks(assumption), something that a cab driver told me

By Blogger bOb™, at 4:54 PM  

I must be damn unlucky then, the routes were both longer and slower.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 10:38 PM  

Post a Comment


 

   


Previous Posts

Depreciating Asset -vvx

So difficult to catch a show in China -vvv vvz

Days in Isolation -vvv

Incorporating Hadouken in Salsa! -vvx

Cool Clouds! -vvv

IPPT -vvv

Co-Rumination -vww

Perfumes -vww

Primary School Math -vwv

Upcoming Performances -vvz vwv

Current Read

七侠五义

Last Three Books

道德經

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology
Arthur Cotterell, Rachel Storm


Momo
Michael Ende

Those Before

孫子兵法


Paycheck: And Other Classic Stories By
Philip K. Dick


Mirror Mirror: A Novel
Gregory Maguire


American Gods
Neil Gaiman


Maya 5 Fundamentals
Garry Lewis, Jim Lammers


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling