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brainteasers

 
#1 brainteasers
04/01/2007 00:58

candidate

Anyone willing to give these two a go...

1. How many taxis are there in NYC?

2. How many red buses are there in London?

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#2 RE: brainteasers
04/01/2007 12:05

Taximan to candidate (#1)

12,053 licensed cabs in NY.

http://www.ny.com/transportation/taxis/

6800 scheduled buses in London.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/cib_about.asp

Why solve problems when you can google them?

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#3 RE: brainteasers
04/01/2007 12:45

way to go to Taximan (#2)

I like your answer! I can just picture the scenario, some arrogant senior manager from an MBBB strat house is interviewing yet another candidate, asking for the number of taxis, buses, policemen, etc. in a given city. The young aspiring consultant whacks out his shiny new PDA, and with the help of Google and/or Wikipedia, comes back with an answer in 10 seconds. If that isn't "thinking outside the box", then I don't know what is.

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#4 RE: brainteasers
04/01/2007 13:21

juan carlos sanchez to way to go (#3)

Not sure whether a seasoned consultant is going to blown away by some nervous stuttering newbie fumbling on their shiny new pda, playing with their new cufflinks and showing of their new patek phillipe watch!

To answer the bus question -

Assume there are 300 bus routes in London

Each bus route is about 100 minutes long

Average wait per bus = 10mins

buses travel in both directions

Number of buses = 300*(100/10)*2

=6000

Also there are going to be buses being serviced and lying idle in depots so maybe add another 10% to give 6600. (state assumption that almost all buses in London are red)

Or you could answer the question by thinking how many people there are in London, what %age of people use buses, how many people does a bus transport........

Or density - how many stops can you think of in a 1 mile radius from your house? Is this representative of London? How manybuses does this equate to and them scale up to the area of London.

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#5 RE: brainteasers
04/01/2007 21:50

candidate to juan carlos sanchez (#4)

Thanks, that was an excellent response to my question on the number of red buses in London. I'd been trying to approach it via the population route, but this is a neat solution.

Re: taxis in NYC - anyone willing to crack that? Sorry for the persistence but I would really appreciate a fresh take.

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#6 RE: brainteasers
04/01/2007 22:23

? to juan carlos sanchez (#4)

Juan - a nice bit of 'reverse engineering'?! How did you come up with 300 bus routes?!

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#7 RE: brainteasers
05/01/2007 00:04

juan carlos sanchez to ? (#6)

My initial estimate was 250 buses but seeing the true answer I increased it to agree with the solution. I'm a londoner and in my area often get the 131 bus. Therefore there are going to be more than 131 buses. Include the night buses (I often get the n77 as I'm a poor student and cannot afford £50 cabs) and I have at least 200 buses. The outer suburbs often have buses which are given diffferent numbers and there are probably another 50 routes. that gives us a minimum number of 250 routes.

Regarding the number of taxis I'd estimate the number of cars in NYC and then determine what %age of cars are taxis or think of what %age of people pick taxi driving as a profession. Perhaps think of how many taxis are in a block in Manhattan (eg number parked outside hotels + numbers passing by)?

To be honest my answers fluctuated quite a lot with the NYC question and ranged from 1500-15000. Chuck in unlicenced taxis and it's probably a vastly different number.

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