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Mck Milan Estimation Question

Mirko asked on Sep 15, 2019 - 2 answers
Milan-based. Looking for partners to practice basic cases and escalate to complex ones.

Hi, this is an estimation question that is rumoured to have been asked in the Milan office.

How many drivers are there in the M1 subway line in Milan? (I think on a daily basis)

How would you go about solving it? Thanks.


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replied on Sep 16, 2019
Ex McKinsey EM with 7 years of recruiting experience/ received all 3 MBB offers/Real MBB cases
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Hi Mirko,

Below is one potential approach to the solution :

- Number of trains per hour (assume this is based on frequency of service), you can also adjust for time of day (rush hour vs other times vs post 9pm etc.) – for now let's say there are 10 trains per hour

-How long the trains in the subway run (Lets say 16 hours)

-Number of drivers per train (let’s assume 1 for this exercise)

- How long it takes to do one loop – let’s assume 1 hour in each direction and 0 turnaround time

- Duration of shift (let's say 8 hours) – so we need at least 2 drivers for the whole day per train assuming a 16 hour day

Now : 10 trains per hour going each direction, given that the loop takes 2 hours to complete, you need 20 the trains at all times. Each train however needs 2 drivers per day given the shifts – so you would need 40 drivers in a day per line under the assumptions laid out above

Of course you can add many complications to this such as time of day, turnaround times, breaks for drivers etc. that will impact your answer

replied on Oct 27, 2019
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Hi Mirko,

I solved a similar case in one of my McK interviews 3 years ago and probably it is still proposed. I used the same approach of Udayan, with the only difference of dimensioning the case starting from the worst scenario: the peak hour (you can assume that there is at least one peak per shift, 1/in the morning and 1 in the afternoon). So the train to be considered working in parallel should be at least doubled (1 every 3 minutes)

Feel free to PM for any additional considerations

Hope this help,


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