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Eclipse99

Bus traffic between cities

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Hi everyone.

 

I've started using buses in my city and i've noticed an interesting quirk.

 

I set up a small test as follows:

 

One city has residential and commercial (with a seperation of 15 squares or so).  I also made a second city which has just industrial. 

 

The two are linked using a highway from the RHW mod (im using the old version 30 NAM with RHW v5 for the moment).

 

All was going well, with cars going to/from the expected places across the city boundaries.

 

I then placed two bus stops in the first city connecting the residential and commercial zones.

 

The buses go between the residential and commercial carrying commuters as expected, but when I use the traffic query tool, it's telling me that bus traffic is also going across the city boundary to the second city, despite the fact that there are no bus stops there.

 

When I switch to the second city and use the traffic query tool on the highway no bus traffic is showing (as to be expected)

 

Am I doing something stupid with my setup, or is this a known SC4 quirk or a NAM/RHW issue?

 

Screenshot of what I mean is below:

 

 

 

bus2x.jpg

 

 

 

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It's an Sc4 quirk.  Each city knows nothing about the internal composition of other cities.  So SC4 assumes that you've got bus stops somewhere in your adjacent city.  So it sends the buses over.  The adjacent city has no place for them to go, so it doesn't bother to plot a path for them.  The Sims on the buses probably end up unemployed, although it the game were smart, it would put them in cars.  Someone would have to do some experiments here.

 

Things are slightly better with ferries.  Cities advertise whether they have ferry terminals, so ferries will cross the border only if there's at least one ferry terminal in the adjacent city.  Of course that ferry terminal may not be in the same body of water as the crossing ferry, in which case once again, you've got problems.

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Thanks for the quick answer, glad to know that my city layout wasn't the problem (this time :) )

 

A couple of follow-up questions:

 

Will the fact that the bus isn't being pathed anywhere in the second city cause the residents in the first city on the 'buses to nowhere' to end up with 'no job' zots above their houses, long commute times, or any similar problem?

 

If I place a single bus stop in the second city will the functionality and numbers tally or will things still be a bit dodgy e.g. first city shows 400 people using bus, second city will show 400 coming in but all going to the single second city bus stop, even if that bus stop is next to a single factory offering 10 jobs?

 

Would it be a useful exercise if I could do some tests perhaps?

 

Is the ferry behaviour hard coded or is it something that could be done with a custom bus stop? (Im guessing if its possible someone would have done it by now).

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Will the fact that the bus isn't being pathed anywhere in the second city cause the residents in the first city on the 'buses to nowhere' to end up with 'no job' zots above their houses, long commute times, or any similar problem?

 

It's hard to say; I don't really know.

 

If I place a single bus stop in the second city will the functionality and numbers tally or will things still be a bit dodgy e.g. first city shows 400 people using bus, second city will show 400 coming in but all going to the single second city bus stop, even if that bus stop is next to a single factory offering 10 jobs?

 

Again, hard to say; they might transfer to some other form of transportation.  I think that's actually the most likely outcome, even if it means walking to their jobs.

 

Would it be a useful exercise if I could do some tests perhaps?

 

Most definitely.

 

Is the ferry behaviour hard coded or is it something that could be done with a custom bus stop? (Im guessing if its possible someone would have done it by now).

 

Your guess is correct.  It's hard-coded.

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Well, I found another interesting 'feature' that I found slightly amusing.

 

I divided the industrial into the second city into two seperate blocks and placed a bus stop at one but not at the other.

 

This seemed to result in all the bus commuters leaving the first city going to the single bus stop in the second city.

 

This seemed to be fine (the number of people using the cross-city bus were almost identical in both cities), but then I noticed that alot of the sims were walking a large distance from this bus stop to the second industrial group (which doesn't have a bus stop).

 

Here is the result (I didn't think sims could walk this far - around 50 squares???).

 

I suppose if they are on the bus it makes sense that they dont have any choice but to get off at the designated stop and walk for miles...

 

 

 

alongwalk.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NAM readjusted the game so that people would walk further though this is the furthest that I've ever seen anyone walk.  NAM assumes that you'll put in bus stops and so forth so that in a real game you won't see the above problems, 

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Each square in sim city 4 equals 16 meters only.  You state that it is roughly 100 squares they are walking, this is just under 1 mile.  It is perfectly reasonable for a person(or a sim) to walk 1 mile.

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Each square in sim city 4 equals 16 meters only.  You state that it is roughly 100 squares they are walking, this is just under 1 mile.  It is perfectly reasonable for a person(or a sim) to walk 1 mile.

 

Indeed it is perfectly reasonable in reality.  It just seems odd because i've never seen a sim be willing to walk such a large amount of tiles in game.

 

What I was originally planning to do on a larger scale was to have rail and road connecting my cities across the city boundaries and confine my bus routes to heavily populated downtown areas.

 

Unfortunately it seems like theres no way to prevent the buses from trying to cross into another city, even if there are no bus stops there.

 

Since I've got no idea what happens to those sims that get 'the bus to nowhere' in that situation I wouldnt be confident that using bus for intra-city and rail+road for inter-city is a viable option.

 

Is there any way to limit how far a bus searches for another bus stop (or the city boundary) when its dispatched from a bus stop? i.e. if I could limit them to a 50 tile radius I could avoid placing any bus stops within 50 tiles of the city boundary and so stop the 'bus to nowhere' from ocurring?

 

Otherwise it looks like I'll have to rethink my transport idea.

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Just for fun, I did another test, and it seems like theres no limit to the walk distance in this case.

 

See below a picture of sims walking the whole map from the bus stop.  Now thats job commitment.

 

I'll probably never build the best looking city or the biggest, but at least I encouraged my citizens to get plenty of exercise :kitty:

 

 

 

walkings.jpg

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Just for fun, I did another test, and it seems like theres no limit to the walk distance in this case.

 

If you do the math, you see that there is a limit - it's simply extremely difficult to reach it.  In the NAM, Sims have ten hours of commute time (the reasons for that number are complex), and they walk at 15 kph.  So they can walk 150 km before running out of commute time.  Since the distance from one large tile to the opposite corner is 8 km, in practice, they never do.  But if you have roads weaving back and forth across the tile, up one row, down the next, it's possible to create a path over 1000 km long in a single large tile.  In this case, walking Sims (and even driving Sims) would run out of commute time long before they reached their destination.

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Just for fun, I did another test, and it seems like theres no limit to the walk distance in this case.

 

If you do the math, you see that there is a limit - it's simply extremely difficult to reach it.  In the NAM, Sims have ten hours of commute time (the reasons for that number are complex), and they walk at 15 kph.  So they can walk 150 km before running out of commute time.  Since the distance from one large tile to the opposite corner is 8 km, in practice, they never do.  But if you have roads weaving back and forth across the tile, up one row, down the next, it's possible to create a path over 1000 km long in a single large tile.  In this case, walking Sims (and even driving Sims) would run out of commute time long before they reached their destination.

 

Thanks for the info, another lesson learned.

 

I guess my plan for city centre buses supported by inter-city rail will have to remain a pipe-dream for now.

 

Am I the first person who tried this? If I thought of trying it I'm sure someone more knowledgeable has already had the idea.

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Eclipse: have you tried the Bus Blocker?

You would have to make your highway on-ramps with a bit of lead-in, to allow for putting the blocker on a one-way road (that will extend into the on-ramp). There's no highway bus blocker.

And I'm not sure if the Sims would then stay on the bus forever or...? Let us know if you try it!

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the same thing started happening me last night with sims using the bus to change city. one of my bus stops is at 250% usage and the sims seem to be just going around in a big circle between 3 or 4 cities.

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Eclipse: have you tried the Bus Blocker?

You would have to make your highway on-ramps with a bit of lead-in, to allow for putting the blocker on a one-way road (that will extend into the on-ramp). There's no highway bus blocker.

And I'm not sure if the Sims would then stay on the bus forever or...? Let us know if you try it!

 

Thanks, I haven't seen that before.  Will give it a go and see if it works with the NAM and report back shortly.

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the same thing started happening me last night with sims using the bus to change city. one of my bus stops is at 250% usage and the sims seem to be just going around in a big circle between 3 or 4 cities.

You've created the eternal commuter loop.  This generally happens across at least three cities.  Best solution is to find a way to break the loop.

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Tried it out and it seems to work excellently.

 

As far as I can tell from using the traffic query tool everyone switched over from using the bus to using their cars to commute across the city boundary.

 

The remaining bus users are just those going to the stop in the same city in the commercial zone.

 

Now all I need is a re-textured version of the bus blockers using the euro-textures so that they dont look odd in my city :D

 

A Highway/RHW compatible bus stopper for the MIS ramps, etc. would be great too but I can probably work around it by designing my road transport carefully.

 

Thanks to everyone who helped.  If only all games were as moddable and had such awesome custom content creators as SC4, the videogame world would be a better place.

 

I'll carry on experimenting and see how things go.

 

An extra side questions: Would these bus blockers or something similar be worth including in the NAM in future? even if it was just the road/avenue/street ones (assuming original authors permission, etc).

 

Before/After pictures using the bus blocker:

 

 

busnoblocker.jpg

 

 

buswithblocker.jpg

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Eclipse: have you tried the Bus Blocker?

You would have to make your highway on-ramps with a bit of lead-in, to allow for putting the blocker on a one-way road (that will extend into the on-ramp). There's no highway bus blocker.

And I'm not sure if the Sims would then stay on the bus forever or...? Let us know if you try it!

 

Thanks, I haven't seen that before.  Will give it a go and see if it works with the NAM and report back shortly.

Thanks for the link. Some time ago I had stopped using buses altogether but now I can use them and control where they go or cannot go. I found that buses accounted for most of the traffic across my city boundaries and they way overburden any bus stop that is closest to that border. If you remove that bus stop then the next closest becomes mobbed. So on and so forth. I use mostly trains, and ferries, in young towns and later subways and other rail options.

 

SC4 is a great game but if someone were able to get a grip on traffic control it would be superb indeed.

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Thanks for the link. Some time ago I had stopped using buses altogether but now I can use them and control where they go or cannot go. I found that buses accounted for most of the traffic across my city boundaries and they way overburden any bus stop that is closest to that border. If you remove that bus stop then the next closest becomes mobbed. So on and so forth. I use mostly trains, and ferries, in young towns and later subways and other rail options.

 

SC4 is a great game but if someone were able to get a grip on traffic control it would be superb indeed.

 

It sounds like you're not using the NAM.  Have you tried it?  If not, I think you'll find it does what you want.  Among other things, it makes bus traffic more reasonable.

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Thanks for the link. Some time ago I had stopped using buses altogether but now I can use them and control where they go or cannot go. I found that buses accounted for most of the traffic across my city boundaries and they way overburden any bus stop that is closest to that border. If you remove that bus stop then the next closest becomes mobbed. So on and so forth. I use mostly trains, and ferries, in young towns and later subways and other rail options.

 

SC4 is a great game but if someone were able to get a grip on traffic control it would be superb indeed.

 

It sounds like you're not using the NAM.  Have you tried it?  If not, I think you'll find it does what you want.  Among other things, it makes bus traffic more reasonable.

I have used NAM since before I can remember. Currently using 30. Thanks for trying to help anyway but not something I consider a problem for a long time. I just don't use buses.

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