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A cross between a taxi and a bus
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

A bus is a large vehicle which carries a lot of people on a specified route to a specified destination at a specified time for a specified cost.

A taxi is a smaller vehicle which carries a few people to where they want to go at a time which suits them for a specified cost.

So what if we combine the two ideas;

A large vehicle which takes a lot of people to where they want to go for a specified cost.

The taxibus would begin at a designated point in a city/airport. People would get on and tell it where they wanted to go at which point it would begin taking them to the destination. Along the way, anyone who wanted to jump on could hail the bus (like you hail a taxi) and ask to be taken to another destination.

If the second destination is on the way, so much the better, the people who just got on are taken there. If it's not then the people who got on first are taken where they want to go and then the taxibus proceeds to the second destination.

At any point people can jump on and request destinations, and in each case if the destination is nearer or on the way they get dropped off first, if it's not theirs becomes the second destination.

I think there would need to be computer controlled prioritising for the destinations based on the amount of time diverting would add to the current journey (no more than 5% say) weighted against how long someone has been on the taxibus. Someone who has been on the taxibus for a while might be allocated a 10% or 15% diversion allowance, for example. The whole route could be controlled by satnav and instructions relayed to the driver.

Once there are no passengers the taxibus returns to the nearest starting zone, or the zone with the most waiting passengers, etc.

I would also argue that system would make more money than a bus or taxi because it would be a little more expensive than a route bus (though not much more) and it would not spend very much time running empty.

mecotterill, May 29 2009

TaxiCut TaxiCut
Just reminded me of this idea [theircompetitor, May 30 2009]

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       Interesting idea. We have a similar service in our airport limos, that transport multiples to multiple locations. But not just for per diem. I give this a tentative + till someone else thinks of a reason to _.
blissmiss, May 29 2009

       I included a sketch of this idea in my "Congoline Unicycles" post but not in detail... basically real-life TCP/IP routing. [+] but a bit baked: local municipality's transit buses run in a similar fashion: each has a specific area and suggested route but they hit sidestreets and take shortcuts to pick up and drop off individual passengers.
FlyingToaster, May 29 2009

       Yes Quest, I've thought about this. I think you would have to 'zone' the area the taxibus can run around. North, South, East and West for example with a boundary around the city. Perhaps you could have a zone at the edge of the boundary where the zones meet so people can get dropped off there to transfer from a North taxibus to a West Taxibus for example.
mecotterill, Jun 06 2009

       [+] It would be more efficient if the destinations were displayed on the outside of the vehicle on some sort of electronic screen so you could see if the bus is going anywhere near your destination. e.g. if someone is going to the same shopping center that you are or if they are going to a place that is 2 blocks away from where you are going, you could select some sort of "piggyback" option where you pay half price in exchange for the luxury of being taken directly from door to door.
Jscotty, Jun 06 2009

       If it was a consensus issue, and proportional to the number of people and miles, then there might well be a situation where it wouldn't be directly relevant to count all. But, at the same time, when you think about the diversions, they wouldn't be more than if they had been in the first place.]   

       So, [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009


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