Minimum Fleet

What is the minimum number of vehicles needed to serve
all the trips in New York without delaying passengers’ pick up times?

The Minimum Fleet Network

The Minimum Fleet Network model developed by the Senseable City Lab could reduce the taxi fleet size by 40%.

Currently, active taxis are circling to look for someone to pick up when they are not driving a passenger to destination. While each driver seeks to reduce this empty time individually, taxis still travel without serving passengers for about 40% of their time. In the Minimum Fleet Network model, this circling is substantially reduced, and each active taxi operates in one of two possible modes:

  • empty but in transit to a pick-up location where there is a guaranteed passenger, or waiting at the pick-up location for said passenger
  • driving with a passenger on board.

Current taxi situation

Minimum Fleet Network model

By relying on the algorithm to identify passengers,
taxis optimize their work hours and reduce empty travel time.
This way, taxi fleet size can be minimized

Working hour optimization

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Types of car modes

Cumulated time with and without passenger in a typical working day

With passenger

Without passenger

Passengers served by a car in the last hour

Current situation


Avg. number of trips for the current system

Avg. number of trips for the model

The displayed cars represent the median number of trips for both the system and model.

Fleet size reduction

The Minimum Fleet Network model proposes efficient vehicle-trip assignments that reduce the empty time between trips with a passenger onboard. This way, a taxi can serve more passengers in the same time, and overall fleet size is minimized.

Current Taxi Situation

Currently, taxi operation is mostly demanded to individual driver’s decisions about where to roam once a passenger is dropped.

1 hour

taxi trips

Minimum Fleet Network Model

With coordinated operation, assignment of taxi to passengers is optimized and empty time reduced. Passengers are guaranteed to have a taxi at the desired location and time, and fleet size is minimized.

1 hour

fleet optimization trips

Efficiency provided

By minimizing empty travel times, the Minimum Fleet Network model reduces the number of cabs needed to serve NY of about 40% compared to current operation.

Total fleet on the road

Current taxi situation

Minimum Fleet Network model

Activity of the fleet in the model

With passenger

Driving to pick up

Waiting to pick up