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Lochian

Mass Transit via Wealth Level

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This is my first post/question.  I hope I'm doing it in the correct way and place.  If not, please advise.

 

I started a city where I want to primarily use mass transit.  I have a way for my Sims to take either a train or a monorail to their place of employment.  I have read in numerous places that the rich prefer the monorail, so it was my intention that the poor would take the train and the rich would take the monorail.

 

However, even though my city currently contains mostly poor Sims, the train is getting no use at all.  All of my Sims are using the monorail to get to work.  I presume because it's faster.

 

So my question is this: Is there a way to manipulate which wealth level uses which type of mass transit?

 

If the answer to the above question is no, then it would appear to me that a player should use only one type of mass transit from an arbitrary point A to point B, i.e., the fastest he/she can afford, because any slower type of mass transit would be ignored by the Sims.

 

Any thoughts or advice on this issue would be appreciated.

 

P.S. - I have NAM installed, if that makes a difference.

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I have read in numerous places that the rich prefer the monorail...

This is a very common myth.  There is no truth to it at all.

 

However, even though my city currently contains mostly poor Sims, the train is getting no use at all.  All of my Sims are using the monorail to get to work.  I presume because it's faster.

 

Exactly.  That's how the game works, specifically with the NAM traffic simulator installed.

 

So my question is this: Is there a way to manipulate which wealth level uses which type of mass transit?

No.  The game contains no mechanism for doing this.  You can indicate a slight preference for cars or mass transit for each of the wealth levels, but that's it.

 

If the answer to the above question is no, then it would appear to me that a player should use only one type of mass transit from an arbitrary point A to point B, i.e., the fastest he/she can afford, because any slower type of mass transit would be ignored by the Sims.

 

This is true only if the slower and faster types of mass transit share all their stops.  Otherwise, the slower type will typically take some Sims to places that the faster type doesn't, so the total trip time will be faster using the slower type since it's more direct.

 

Also, although monorail is the fastest travel type in the game, even if you're flush with cash, you wouldn't want to use it everywhere; it takes up too much real estate.  Subways lend themselves much better to large-scale networks than any other type of mass transit for this reason.

 

In another example, if you already have a rail line in place, it may not take much to make a spur into a new residential or business area, whereas to introduce rapid transit to your built-up downtown area, you generally don't want to tear up your businesses to make way for a train.

 

A lot of people also go for realism, although you need to be careful here; mass transit stations need to be much closer together than in RL to be maximally effective.  But realism is the only reason to use el rail instead of monorail, for example.

 

P.S. - I have NAM installed, if that makes a difference.

 

It makes all the difference in the world.  The traffic simulator that comes with the game is really badly broken.  Among other things, it generally makes Sims take the route with the shortest distance - not the fastest route.  And that's when it can find a route at all... :(

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Generally, I use monorail for inter-city travel only.  Ground rail is one of my favourite mass transit facilities and I supplement with subway along main urban routes.  While subway may be preferred by the previous poster and by the NAM, ground rail is cheaper and can be affordable much earlier in the life of a city.  In the end, the main problem with ground rail is real-estate.  Eventually, it becomes a transit backbone with other means (not monorail) in support.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thank you both for your responses.

     

    @z1:  I didn't know that was a myth.  That explains so much.  I did, in fact, have the exact same stops for both my train and monorail.  I was hoping the load would be split as the poor used the train and the rich used the monorail, but your explanation is clear as to why only the monorail was being used.

     

    I've theorized that if I wanted to continue my experiment of splitting the mass transit among wealth levels, I could have (for example) only bus/train stops in my poor neighborhoods, and only monorail stations in my rich neighborhoods.  The exit points for both would, of course, be dispersed in the commercial and industrial areas.  This way, in order to get from home to work, they would only have one choice of which kind of mass transit to use.  It would be an artificial way of controlling the behavior of the classes.  I might try this experiment and see if it works.

     

    @z1 and @A Nonny Moose: Of course, both of you make excellent points that perhaps monorail is not the way to go.  It does take up a lot of real estate and it is expensive to maintain.  At the end of the day, the only real reason I like to use it is because I think it looks really cool :)

     

    @A Nonny Moose: Given a choice between ground rail and subways, I prefer rail as well.  One of the reasons is that I love to use it to get the freight out of the city.  I just think it's more efficient than getting all those trucks to the edge of the screen.  And if I've already got the rail for the freight, it's just a wasted shame not to put some passenger stations on there and move my sims around too.  Of course, when the city starts to become really crowded, it becomes difficult to place new rail lines.  That's usually when I switch to the subways -- or maybe monorails :)

     

    Again, thank you both for your responses.  I appreciate you taking the time to explain this issue to me.

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    Surface infrastructure such as rail, monorail, or high speed rail tends to be something you have to plan ahead for.  Either that, or play a city slowly and organically, but start introducing rail early and often.  You can build GLR, Subway, and Buses into an already built up city pretty easy, and it can actually be kind of difficult to plop this all down early and let your city grow into it.

     

    But at least with railroad, it's pretty much just the opposite.  You can plop this down early and let your city grow into it.

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    The original game didn't have subway and some of the other stuff.  I used rail when it was basically the only mass transit option.  Besides, I am an armchair model railroaders.

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    The original game didn't have subway and some of the other stuff.  I used rail when it was basically the only mass transit option.  Besides, I am an armchair model railroaders.

    I greatly enjoy incorporating rail in my regions.  My dad and brother and I used to have a real model railroad setup when I was a little kid.  It's almost more fun to do it in SC4 because of how much more elaborate you can make it for a very controlled budget.

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