The optimal dispatching of taxis under congestion: A rolling horizon approach

Ka-Io Wong*, Michael G.H. Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Taxis make an important contribution to transport in many parts of the world, offering demand-responsive, door-to-door transport. In larger cities, taxis may be hailed on-street or taken from taxi ranks. Elsewhere, taxis are usually ordered by phone. The objective of a taxi dispatcher is to maximize the efficiency of fleet utilization. While the spatial and temporal distribution of taxi requests has in general a high degree of predictability, real time traffic congestion information can be collected and disseminated to taxis by communication technologies. The efficiency of taxi dispatching may be significantly improved through the anticipation of future requests and traffic conditions. A rolling horizon approach to the optimisation of taxi dispatching is formulated, which takes the stochastic and dynamic nature of the problem into account. Numerical experiments are presented to illustrate the performances of the heuristics, taking the time dependency of travel times and passenger arrivals into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Heuristics
  • Rolling horizon
  • Taxi
  • Traffic congestion
  • Vehicle dispatching

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