HELP! My bus lanes don't work!

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    I can’t seem to figure a way to make profit from bus lanes. My Tram lanes are making good money.
    Here is a picture of the city I’m trying to add bus lanes:
    Any tip?


    I also have difficulties in running bus or tram lines at a profit (hard difficulty) and I have not yet understood what is the best layout, so I’m really interested in answers from others.

    I nevertheless try to give you two elements to think about:

    1) It seems that one bus line mostly goes in the industry district. Passengers always go from home to the three other districts. This line could not attract much people, or if it did, it does not make them travel longer (fares depend on distance). By contrast the tram line also passes through the commercial and leisure districts, which may attract more people. I would advise you (hope I’m not wrong) to better connect the residential area with the other districts: in your city you seem to have left out the green part of the city…

    2) It seems that your bus and tram limes somewhat overlap each other. That means that the lines could cannibalize passengers among them, with passengers choosing the fastest line to go to their destination. If your tram line has higher frequency or is faster (it seems to be a more direct line to some spots in the city), passengers could prefer it.



    Oh, I see. I think that’s really good tips since I tried 3 or 4 methods I saw in guides and couldn’t make good profit, so I started to make my own methods by thinking on how the passengers choose place and transport. But i’d never seen things like your “Passengers must have access to all the districts”, and it actually has quite sense. Thanks! I’ll try to solve it tomorrow and post the results here.


    My experience is that two (or more) city tram/bus lines don’t work. I use only one city bus or tram line and they are always very profitable. I also always use a ‘back and forth’ line. I start with a bus or tram station next to the train station and another one at the far end of the city. Then upgrade the streets making sure to follow a path that goes thru all districts. Then place stops along the path at each side of the street and start the new line, beginning at the train station, by selecting only the stops at the right side of street. Arrived at the station at the end of the line i select all stops at the left side of the street following the numbers backwards. Very easy, very quick and always works. Tram- or busloads of passengers. 🙂



    Are your bus lines profitable even in hard difficulty ?

    Is it better a single bidirectional line than two circular lines (one per sense of direction) ?

    How many stops do you usually place ?

    Which usage rate are you able to achieve ?

    Just for comparison, in my last game with double circular routes on hard and USA DLC I manage to service around 75-85% of passengers but after the beginning where I made some little profit with the first horse cars, then I started to make a little loss around 20-40K per line with the newer busses. Are you able to achieve better results with your strategy ?


    I don’t use hard difficulty, GC… Normally i choose easy and medium or large map. Never tried two circular city bus/tram lines, i found that a back and forth line always works well. Usually the balance for my city bus/tram lines is in the green. Here is my setup of a city tramline at average. 40 stops counting both sides of the streets, 5 trams, 3 minutes frequency:

    Line usage heavily depends of course. Currently on a large map with only about 40% of the cities running a bus/tramline. Lowest is 33% highest 76%. Working on it.  😉

    I played TF right from the day it was released. Great fun but the traffic jams and a few other annoyances made me quit for more than a year in favor of TS. I was very pleasantly surprised when i tried TF again after the big upgrade. So much better, certainly regarding passenger transportation as well, be it by rail or road.

    If you have not tried a back and forth city bus/tram line i can certainly recommend it.




    Thank you for your insight.

    In reality I used to use one (or sometimes two) back and forth city bus lines. I recently tried the circular ones, but I’m unsure which one is better.

    Back and forth lines have the advantage of requiring less lines (one line cover both directions, circular lines require at least two lines per city, but circular lines may allow for shorter trips between zones as one can always take the direction that optimizes travel time (in your image from station to north part of city one must do all the trip, with circular lines it could go quite directly), but I am not really sure as back and forth lines can run more straight and you can probably have higher frequencies with the same number of busses.

    An interesting thing is that when made back&forth lines I made them a little differently than you in that I often started from one district (e.g industry) pass through residential/station and end in another district (e.g. leisure). Since citizens always go back and forth from residential district to the other ones (that’s what the developers told if I understood it correctly, please correct me if it is untrue), in that way trips from residential to other district are shorter.

    I also make much less stops than you, especially late in the game. I often have 6-10 stops per line (that makes 12-20 stops per city). I am not sure what is better, but with more stop trips are much longer as busses must continuously stop and restart. This also raises frequency. On the other hand you reduce walking time, so it is hard to find a balance.

    I have not really tried to dedicate lines to each district. This could lead to much better coverage (other players claim to easily achiev usage rate of 90% or more, while I usually reach 70-80%) but it also may need more busses and this maintenance costs.

    By the way, you should definitively try hard difficulty (if you like the business aspect more than building a nice looking transport network). The other modes simply don’t give any interesting challenges. Even with hard it is not that difficult to make some profit, but you have to manage it with some efficiency.


    Thanks everyone. With this and Steam discussions information I’ll try to make profit of my bus lanes for one last time.


    Thank you for your insight as well, GC. The main thing is, as far as i’m concerned, and i don’t know if you played TF *before* the big upgrade of last year like i did, that running city bus/tram lines has become much more realistic than before the upgrade. Atleast in my perspective…

    Running intercity bus lines has always been a major hit. So much so that, in my eyes, it often became ridiculous with people crowding up the stops likeif  there’s a pop concert going on. On the other hand, getting people to use rail connection between cities would often deteriorate tremendously as time would go on. This all seems to be much more regulated now. Even with every Tom, Dick and Harry owning a car, passenger trains and city bus/tram lines remain profitable thru the years. ( i’m in 2036 now….. 3 x a billionaire… would’ve been nice to see some futuristic trains/cars driving around… 😉

    Ok, i’m in easy mode, that’s true… Might try your suggestion an go hard difficulty once i get tired of my easy map !  😉

    cheers, Jan



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