Reply To: Bus lines profitable after 1980.

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What I find is that with modern vehicles you need fewer due to speed/maintenance tradeoff, but not so few that your frequency suffers too much. It is probably intended to keep the game challenging – too often with economic simulators once you have one or two profitable lines it’s almost impossible to go bankrupt – this game tries to keep you on your toes. Some argue that it feels a little contrived the way it’s done with cars, but my opinion is that it’s part of the game.

So to answer your question I don’t think it’s an unintended imbalance, I think it’s by design. I revisit my lines often and reroute as the city evolves. The issue is that most of the towns in the game are not massive and usually have 4 distinct zones that a single line can cover and be very profitable. I usually use subsequent lines to connect less valued neighbourhoods and suburbs with the intention of increasing the land value there and encouraging growth – I expect these lines to barely break-even and probably lose money.

But don’t forget that if your bus line feeds a train station then those passengers will pay again on the train and probably be profitable overall instead of leaving them to their cars. This is another tactic I use to keep traffic down – most of the traffic people complain about in the forums comes from the suburbs because they just ignore that part of the population since the buses lose money – not realising that all those extra cars on the road are damaging the main profitable bus line.

This way with unprofitable extra bus lines you connect more people  to your train network that make your trains more profitable and reduce the traffic, which in turn makes you main bus line more profitable.

I rarely have chronic traffic problems without using any mods or severing the inter-city roads and use bus lanes in select bottleneck locations.