Yellow Cabs as Red Corpuscles
7 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 15, 2013
Data obtained from New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission highlights the importance of yellow cabs in the city’s transportation infrastructure. In 2011, for example, there were nearly 180 million cab rides. In this paper, we provide detailed visualizations of these numerous journeys. Using a random sample, we also develop several relevant economic metrics. For example, we find that nearly half of all rides were taken by a single passenger traveling short distances. In contrast, out-of-pocket costs faced by passengers averaged less than $6 per mile, with 90% paying less than $8 per mile, even when the social value of the city’s roads is highest. From a city planner’s perspective, the current fare structure for yellow cabs may not be optimal. Finally, we propose a statistical method to analyze dynamic flow patterns of yellow-cab rides that can ultimately be extended to a multivariate model.
Keywords: Transportation, Markov Chains, Externalities, Congestion
JEL Classification: C51, D62, R41
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