I'm trying to work out this problem - any hints would be appreciated.

Taxis arrive at a taxi stand according to a Poisson process with parameter $\lambda$. Customers arrive, independently of taxis, at the rate $\mu$. If there are no taxis when a customer arrives at the stand, they will leave. Assume that $\lambda < \mu$. What is the long-term probability that an arriving customer gets a taxi?

Attempt at solution

I should obviously find the limiting distribution of this markov chain. I can find the limiting distribution by first finding the chain transition matrix $\tilde P$.

I'm thinking that this is a birth and death process with birth date $\mu$ and death rate $\lambda$... from here, I'm not even sure how to approach the problem

Any tips would be greatly aprpeciated

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should first define what a state represents in your Markov Chain. I don't think CTMCs can be represented as a transition matrix because time spent in states is exponentially distributed. As far as I know, the transition matrix can be used for DTMCs only. $\endgroup$
    – an4s
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


This is just a job queue with Poisson arrivals and exponential services times. The taxis represent jobs. The "service time" is the time to the arrival of the next customer. Since the inter-arrival times of Poisson arrivals are exponential, the service times are exponentially distributed with parameter $\mu.$


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