Best way for bus/tram routes?

Home Forums General Discussion Best way for bus/tram routes?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
  • Author
  • #10907

    Anyone any tips about how to lay tram/bus routes?

    – what is better : a round-trip or to a point in town and back the same way

    – how to take land use (red/yellow/blue/green) in considaration?

    – how to take land value in considaration (bright versus dark colors)

    – what spacing between stops?

    – how many stops on one line?

    – should all lines start/end near the railway station?

    – how many lines in a town?

    – how many vehicles on a line?


    Here are my observations.

    – Point to Point is good between towns, but within one a round trip is better it seems.

    – Ideally a city line should encompass all land use types, but i found that over long time the industry seems to be not getting many passengers.

    – After you set up the train lines between cities the most profitable intracity routes are those that connect residential to the train station and return through commercial (as above the industrial connections do not seem to be getting many people).

    – Actually the spaces between the stops can be medium to long (like two intersections) and you should put stops close to pedestrian crossings.

    – Up until 1930-ish the Trams are better, but afterwards they fall short of buses.

    – Number of stops depends on area you need to cover. There should be as many vehicles on the line so that the travel/wait time is low enough for people to use it.

    – I usually start with one line circling in the city and based on how the city grows i either modify the line or add more. Usually both. Do not forget to add some streets where needed. Also, all my lane-carrying streets i modify to the widest possible so that i can achieve highest speed.

    – I usually carry my lines through railway station, yes. I do not know if that is the best thing to do, but i noticed that far into the game the intra-city traffic becomes less dependent on your lines because people are simply getting cars.

    – Also, far into the game the bus stations (bot medium and large) lose their appeal. As they are capped at 27 and 30 respectively per line, if you train drops 200 people then you may lose as many as 85% of them. Normal bus stops are capped depending on how much space on the sidewalk there is. So if you have several lines, assign each of them a different stop and group the stops together. Alternatively get a VERY large bus station mod, which can handle perhaps more than a hundred people. That’s what i do for my intercity bus connections, but it is very big and it only has one stop so the busses can clog the place. This is not very handy close to the rail stations.


    Hi, based on my observations:

    -what is better : a round-trip or to a point in town and back the same way

    I usually make use of point to point running through the center of the town (covering 2 or 3 zones) to the station. Than I make a second line to cover the missed out zones. I usually get 80+ line usage. It all depends upon the town structure. In some towns I have a successful circular lines

    – how to take land use (red/yellow/blue/green) in considaration?

    People travel from one zone to another. There is no specific destination. As long as your zones are connected effeciently, people will use your lines

    – how to take land value in considaration (bright versus dark colors)

    I usually place stops at the end of intersection, near bright areas to get maximum passenger. However, in the future, you will want to place stops near darker zones as well, in order to develop them

    – what spacing between stops?

    Depends upon how long is the road intersection and road network. Placing stops where various roads meet is a good idea. Avoid placing more than one stop in a single intersection provided that it is not toooo long.

    – how many stops on one line?

    Depends upon the size of the town

    – should all lines start/end near the railway station?


    – how many lines in a town?

    I usually have 3 lines (1st is profitable, 2nd is profitable but little 3rd is break even or loss

    – how many vehicles on a line?

    Depends upon the line lenght, maintaining a correct frequency lets say 30 to 60 seconds is more important.

    I hope this was helpful



    I just keep in mind that local city traffic means nothing.

    City-to-City trafic is a key to get money. So i use local lines as a feeder to the long lines only. My local lines end on the long range station. Therfore I make local line as forth and back, never circular. I need to transfer people from their location to the long travel port. If they need to go buy a bread to their local shop, I dont care. If they need to buy a bread in the shop on the other side of map, well, thats interesting. 🙂


    The rules for my lines inside a city.

    1. |The line should not overlap with another line. If a transfer is required, build two stops as close together as possible or use a bus/tram station. This avoids congestion.

    2. Keep frequency under 60 seconds. On some routes, this requires 20 or more horse trams/stagecoaches. Keeping such a low arrival time will ensure that just about everyone will choose public transport over walking.

    3. The line should include at least 1 intercity transfer stop. If it does not, then it needs to have 2 or more land use zones within the stops.

    Most of my lines start at the center of the city and move to the outskirts. This means most lines have the commercial zone included along with at least 1 more zone. Most of the lines also end at a station that delivers traffic to another city.


    I usually have only one city line which goes to 2-3 directions… but I don’t know yet if I have any benefits or downsides doing that.

    Well .. the benefit is that is easier when you need to replace vehicles… don’t know about efficiency thou.

    In the past I created 2-3 lines going from train station to various directions and back. Now I create only one line which goes first into one direction, then back to station, then to another and back and so on.

    Anyone tried to avoid using intercity lines? Someone in one post claimed that he setup bus/tram line only on his main city. The rest was without them and all worked just fine … ?


    The best way for tram or bus routes depend upon your aim with those routes. Inhabitants do not need your buses or trams to get anywhere within the town. In 20-minutes tile they can walk across town without problem. So, what do you want to accomplish with your bus/tram routes. For lines within a city:

    1 – Gaining money – Circular route are quite efficient, minimal upkeep and working fine until automobile cloggs up all streets. Frequent stops are fine, but do not overdo.

    2 – Get them to the station – radial straight lines from the station to strategic points in town work best. Key is fast travel from those key points to station without delay. Just a very few stops on the line are enough. the goal is to get as many people as fast as possible to the trains, so they can travel farther, and thus make more money with trains.

    Combining both strategies is fine, and will do well until automobile takes over.

    But the big money bringers are the town to town lines. Place one stop in each town centre, and setup up a bus (or tram) line between the two stops. Guaranteed big profits, even with stage coaches in the early game. I use typically 20 stage coaches per city-to-city line, and make 100K to 300K per year per line. Easy win.


    to prevent automobile take over you need to destroy every road connecting your city to other cities. this will boost your rail-traffic and reduce trafficjams


    Cheating is for nubs


    he he … some of you destroy roads between cities, I build them …. the largest  ones.  Looks so much better and realistic.


    Lots of good advice, but I don’t think it’s true that “people travel from one zone to another. There is no specific destination.” Select a sim person: they each have a specific building in a specific town for work, home, shopping and leisure, and when they take a trip they emerge from one building and travel to another. What I haven’t tried yet is to follow an individual to see whether they persist in the sim after the end of a trip: do they later emerge from the same building they last arrived at and go to one of the others on their list?

    I have observed the lack of local traffic to industrial areas that many above have mentioned. I don’t understand it but I do note that residential buildings have an unemployment factor. Presumably the easier it is to get from home to a workplace, even in another town, the fewer unemployed there will be. Whether this becomes enough to make a line sustainable is another matter – I certainly struggle but I think my frequencies are too low and my stops too close together.


    P.s. Deleting roads between towns, or industries for that matter, is definitely cheating.


    *- what is better : a round-trip or to a point in town and back the same way

    I would say a full line is the best way. I Usually have the bus enter a town and have 3 or 4 stops, two at the edge and one or two at the center. Then continue to the next one. In this way i can use the same line for both intercity and in-city communication. I don´t know if its the best way, but it reduces the number of lines quite drastically and use the buses more efficient.

    *- how to take land use (red/yellow/blue/green) in considaration?

    Well, yea, you probably should, but to me it seams easier just to let the passanger chice there own route and just make it as efficent as possible. Remember that they always travle to and from there house.

    *- how to take land value in considaration (bright versus dark colors)
    Well, if you traffic one low land value part it will increase quite fast, so i would probobly say, don´t care, just make it as efficent as possible.

    *- what spacing between stops?

    Every 3 or 4 blocks or so. I would say in a smallish town one at each edge, and one in the center. When the cities grow more stop can be added. Dot put them to close, and make sure to have good bus lane coverage, especially after the 50-tys.

    *- how many stops on one line?
    What ever number that is needed. I never encounter any problem with that.

    *- should all lines start/end near the railway station?
    Well you may, but you can also just put two ordinary stops right next to station and let the bus line go right past it.

    – how many lines in a town?
    *How many it needs. In the early parts just one. When the town is somewhat medium size its a good idea having one go right through and one in a circular pattern.. I Usualy make it in 3 steps.
    1: Pasing through the center, with 3-5 stops (in each direction, total of 6-10 actual stops)
    2: A additional line going around the center intersecting the stops from the previews one
    3: Adding a cross line covering the rest of the city….

    Of cause if the cities grow to monsters size you may need  additional lines….. I ones tryed doing the circular line as a comuter train, bot of some ever reason it didnt work

    *- how many vehicles on a line?
    Minimum to have 3 minus interval i would say. The pops will not use the line if the total travel time is over 20 minutes. So say that they walk for one minute and wait for 3 and then walk for one minute, then they used 5 minutes and have 15 more to travle, no problem, they can make a additional switch. But if the interval is up to around 10 minutes or so the will not like to travle and will definitely not switch over.


    I suggest you do it as they do it in the real world. They use …..

    A hub or hubs with lines that go out from this hub like spokes on a bicycle wheel. Then further out there is

    A circle line or lines that go all the way around and connect the spokes. The spokes are lines that go out to an end point and then turn around and come back the same way. Subway lines are often in a spoke system.

    In less dense cities  you use loops to go through “those city blocks” on the way out and through “those other city blocks” on the way back to the hub in order to pack the buss full of passengers. But that is in less dense cities like when we start a Train Fever map.

    The biggest buss station in Train Fever can handle 4 lines. This will be you hub. And it will have 4 loops going out from it.

    1) residential area loop

    2) industry / workplace loop

    3) leasure time loop

    4) “anything” loop on the way to train station. It will pass whatever type of buildings are on the way to the train station.

    One big loop going through the town is not as good as the system above. Imagine a passenger whining “I was just going to the train station …  why! do I have to ride through the industry area and this or that or that to get there?!?”. I think he rather walk if that is faster.

    You as a planner do not know where a passenger want to go. The system above satisfies everything.

    Home -> hub -> work

    Home -> hub -> fun

    Home -> hub -> train station.

    This quickly produce a very long list of lines if you do this in every city. But it seems the game can handle if it is all just one big line. Station -> hub -> Home -> hub -> work -> hub -> fun -> hub -> station. Everytime the same line comes back to the hub it uses another parking spot for the buses.

    Now, imagine the town growing. You can have several of these hubs with “4 loops”. But they all have the 3 loops and the 4th connecting to the train station.

    It is now time to create the first circular line going through each of the hubs. But it seems no way to free up a slot. Ok then. Build another big buss station! well, why not build a big tram station instead! Right next to the big buss hubs is a tram station. The tram station is used by the new circular line that have to go in both directions so 2 slots are used up in the tram hub. But hey! you have 2 more slots in each tram hub. I suggest you use the 3rd to go directly to the train station. And then you have 1 slot free in the tram station to what you want with.

    In this system the passengers will find they can go wherever they want, it may require changing vehicle at some point.


    I haven’t built any tram lines yet having too much trouble with cargo trains. But if I go a really big city in the future and too much traffic. Then maybe the direct tram lines from “tram hubs” -> “train station tram hub” could have zero stops on the way to the train station …. If they do not have any stop on the way maybe they pick another lane …. would be good, one lane for local busses … and another for through traffic ….. should increase capacity.



    Also if you predict a city becoming very large …… since we do not have subways …. and some people write trams are not enough …. why not build a circular TRAIN track with sunken stations, and tunnels between stations to feed passengers to the big train station. 😀


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
  • The forum ‘General Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.