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How long would it take you to completely evacuate Madrid?

estimation Simon-Kucher
New answer on Jan 15, 2020
5 Answers
1.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 11, 2020

Completely evacuate madrid using any means of transport.

Any suggestions on how to tackly this type of question?


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello! I would follow these steps:

  • Population calculation: if it´s not given, stimation based on your knowledge of other european cities.
  • Different evacuation ways: cars, trains, buses, etc. How many people can each of those transportation means evacuate? (e.g., not everyone has a car, there are limited buses and trains, etc.)
  • Bottlenecks: the total capacity of those transportation means is the "ideal" scenario in which there are no issues such as traffic jams, etc.

Always bear in mind that here there is not a right or wrong answer, and they are not looking for a candidate that only deviates X% from the solution they have calculated. What is being tested here is you ability to synthetise, be creative, estimate, etc.

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 15, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

in the panic environment of the situation, probably most of the people will use their own vehicles, therefore I would put emphasis on the bottleneck of the 4 main road highway to leave Madrid.


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Anonymous B replied on Jan 11, 2020

I am not a professional, but I would start with total population (Demand) and vehicles (Supply). Total number of people, segmented through different location zones (center, suburb...) and availability of vehicles for each of the zones. By vehicles I mean land transportation such as cars, buses and railways / subway and also other types such as boats (if the city is on a river) and helicopters.

You also have to be aware of some constaints such as road infrastructure capacity, time and prioritize -> maybe one area needs to be evacuated first or there are some people that need to be evacuated first (such as POTUS or ladies and kids first).

I don't know the context, but it is also important to understand why do you want to evauate Madrid. You're not going to use subway if there is a huge earthquake.

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


First I would calulate the capacity of each mean of transport (Subway, Train, planes, buses) doing the assumption that in this case the car is the least efficient mean.
After this I would calculate the availability and frequency of each of them.
Then you can do some smart considerations as the following:

  • You have to consider tourists in addition to residents
  • You have to consider that people in the outskirts of Madrd can leave the city by walking

Hope it helps,

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replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would split into routes:

  • Roads
  • Air
  • Railway

For each of them, I'll come up with assumptions on max output rate (cars per hour) and then bottlenecks (e.g. bridges) and adjust on that


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Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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