Does Pricing Some Lanes Improve Customer Service?

George Zhang
George Zhang
  • Speaker
College of Business and Economics, Western Washington University

Event Information

Research Seminar
Wed. 22 Apr. 2009
12:00-13:00 hours
Mandeville Building T10-67


We consider a border-crossing system where customers (either commercial trucks or passenger cars) can choose to join a free lane and a toll lane. The system is operated using a congestion-based staffing policy where the number of servers is adjusted according to the queue length. We compare two cases with different information levels for customers. In the first case, called partial information case, only delay information is provided to customers. A customer makes his or her decision of joining the free lane or toll lane based on this information. In the second case, called full information case, both delay information and staffing policy are disclosed to customers for their decision making. The comparisons between these two cases are based on performance measures which are obtained by combining the fluid limit approximation with the birth-and-death process. Under a cost structure, we investigate if pricing some lanes can improve the system efficiency. The results obtained in this study also apply to other waiting line situations such as patient queues occurred in heath care systems.
This is a joint work with Pengfei Guo of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Contact information:
Dr. Y. Yu
Yugang Yu
Yugang Yu
  • Coordinator