Mining factors affecting taxi drivers’ incomes using GPS trajectories

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Taxis provide essential transport services in urban areas. In the taxi industry, the income level remains a cause of concern for taxi drivers as well as regulators. Mining underlying factors affecting the income level will not only benefit the newcomers and low-income drivers but also assist in developing effective optimization algorithms for taxi operations. This paper intends to disclose the factors affecting incomes along with their quantitative influence by mining over 167 million GPS records from nearly 8000 taxis in Shanghai. We first identify a marked difference in drivers’ incomes and categorize drivers into three income levels accordingly. We next investigate the overall search-delivery process, thereby defining several factors that may affect the income level. We then develop a generalized multi-level ordered logit (GMOL) model to find the significant factors that influence incomes. Finally, we compute the elasticity for those significant factors and present their contributions, as well as challenge some preconceived ideas regarding how to earn high incomes.




Qin, G., Li, T., Yu, B., Wang, Y., Huang, Z., & Sun, J. (2017). Mining factors affecting taxi drivers’ incomes using GPS trajectories. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 79, 103–118.

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