Efficient Taxi Queueing At Airports

ChangiNOW - A mobile app that balances the supply of taxis at Singapore's Changi Airport from Afian Anwar on Vimeo.

The important role that taxis play in bringing passengers from an airport terminal to their final destination is often overlooked in airport operations and design. Due to varying flight arrival patterns at different terminals, taxi drivers are often unsure which terminal they should queue at.

In ChangiNOW, we demonstrate a mobile app that uses a queueing model based on real time and historical flight passenger load and taxi data to predict taxi wait times and queue lengths at each of Singapore’s Changi International Airport’s four terminals. The app communicates this information to taxi drivers, motivating them to service those terminals with the highest taxi demand.

We test this system in simulation and show that we achieve a 51% improvement in taxi waiting time and a 31% improvement in passenger waiting time.

Joint work with Mikhail Volkov (MIT), supervised by Daniela Rus (MIT). This project was awarded the $50K SMART Explorer Grant EG11011: ChangiNOW, A Mobile App that Balances Taxi Supply at Airports (2012).

A Anwar, M Volkov, D Rus: ChangiNOW: A Mobile Application for Efficient Taxi Operation at Airports. IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference 2013, Oct 6 – 9, The Hague, The Netherlands (paper, presentation)