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Transportation FAQ by FAQ GOD

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 11/05/2003


Transportation Department FAQ
Version 1.0 4/7/00
By: Karl Jobst
E-mail: faq_god@hotmail.com

       Yet another simple FAQ. I didn't really want to put too much 
effort into this line of Simcity FAQs, because I've got other FAQs to 
write as well.



1. Revision History
2. Transportation Department -The Transportation Advisor
                             -The Importance of a Good Transportation         
                             -Bus Stops
                             -Rails and Train Stations
                             -The Subway and Subway Stations
                             -Funding Roads and Mass Transit
                             -Connecting to Your Neighbours
3. Closing statement, thanks, etc.

                         REVISION HISTORY

1.0 (4/7/00)

       First release of this FAQ.

       This department deals with things like roads and public 
transport. Transportation is the way sims get around your city. You must 
build roads leading to all your buildings and zones. But the city cannot 
rely on roads alone, it must have other means of transport or the roads 
will have major traffic problems. By putting in rails and bus stops and 
subways, you will be faced with less traffic, and that will mean happier 



       In control of his folksy demeanor, Moe Biehl is a well-connected 
political insider. His credentials, never independently verified, 
include Alderman, Ombudsman, Councilman, Chairman, Elector(appointed), 
Sergeant at Arms, and Minority Whip "There isn't a function of city 
government I don't know something about," he admits. Moe feels right at 
home as Transportation Advisor, despite accusations that he has never 
set foot on a bus, subway or train in his entire life.

       This guy will tell you what's going on in the transportation 
world. He will tell you if the mass transit needs more funding, if you 
need more road, and if you need more mass transit. He will also tell you 
if you're doing a wonderful job.


       When you start your city, you need transportation routes or 
people will not live there. When you place a zone, there must be some 
way to get there or it will never grow. You will also need travel routes 
between the different zones, you must build a road between residential 
and industrial, industrial and commercial, and commercial and 
residential, or sims will not live there.

       You must also give access to all the government buildings. These 
include police station, fire stations, schools, etc.  

       But be warned, transportation requires funds. Don't place ten 
thousand bus stops because you have to pay for them each month for as 
long as they stand. The same goes for roads, the more roads you have, 
the more funding you will have to pay. But make sure you always have 
enough roads, just don't go overboard.


       Roads are your basic means of transportation. This should be your 
number one source of getting your sims around town. The biggest hassles 
with roads are traffic problems. The entire sim population can't use the 
roads at the same time; this is why you need mass transit. 

       By clicking on the query button, and then clicking on the road, 
you can see how much the road is being used. The stages go up like this:

None(no traffic)-> Light-> Medium(normal amount of traffic)-> Heavy-> 
Congested(bucket loads of traffic)

       When a road reaches the congested stage, it is critical that you 
place a bus stop, or rails, nearby. When there is a lot of traffic on 
the roads, it lowers aura, plus it lowers the sims life expectancy 
because there is more chance of an accident(don't tell me you didn't 
know sims had car accidents).

       Roads are also the cheapest means of transportation. Roads can 
also be built over rails, and under highways. You can build bridges over 
water and they can tunnel through mountains.


       A highway is like a road but bigger and is elevated. Highways 
allow more sims to travel faster, over longer distances. So why don't 
you just build highways instead of roads? Because highways take up a lot 
more room then roads, and let's not forget that stingy price tag of $540 
per block.

       However, if you have two areas on your map that are separate, 
building a highway from one to the other is a good option. Building 
highways allow your sims to travel from one place to another a lot 
faster. If your sims complain about not being able to get to work, and 
you don't already have a highway connecting residential and industrial 
zones, building a highway is the best option.

       Highways can be built over roads and rails. They can also be 
built over water, but they can not tunnel through a mountain.



       An on-ramp connects a road to a highway. With out on-ramps, 
highways would be useless because Sims wouldn't be able to get onto 
them. An on-ramp is a ramp that connects on to the road and leads up on 
to the highway.

       Now building an on-ramp can be pretty tricky. You must have a 
highway passing over a road. The highway has to be at least 5 squares in 
length after the road for an on-ramp to be placed. It should look like 
                     H H H H H R H H H H H
                     H H H H H R H H H H H – Five Squares Long
                         O O O R O O O

R = Road
H = Highway
O = On-ramp

       This is a pretty simple drawing, but you should get the idea.


       Bridges are necessary when you need to build a road, highway or 
rail across a river or lake. To build a bridge, you have to drag the 
road, highway or rail over the river/lake to the other side. 

       When you build a bridge you must make sure that the ground on one 
side of the river is the same height of the other side of the river. If 
the ground isn't the same height the drag shadow won't turn blue, it 
will stay red.

       Once the bridge layout has been decided, you will be given a 
price. A highway bridge will cost more than a road bridge because there 
is more construction needed. If by chance you don't have enough funds to 
build this bridge, it will automatically come up with a notice and the 
bridge will be cancelled. 

       Once you agree to the price, the bridge will automatically build 
the build. The game will select randomly, the famous bridge(eg. Sydney 
Harbour, Golden Gate) that will be built.


       A tunnel may be built if there is a mountain range cutting you 
off from an area on your map. To build a tunnel, drag the road all the 
way over the mountain until the road hits flat ground.

       Once the tunnel plan is in place, you will be given a 
construction cost. If you agree to the price, the tunnel will 
automatically be built for you. If you do not have enough money for the 
tunnel, it will automatically be destroyed.

       When building a tunnel, you must make sure that the ground on one 
side of the hill, is the same height as the ground on the other side of 
the hill. If you're not sure, query the land on each side and check the 


       Bus stops are part of your mass transit system. They divert sims 
away from polluting cars and lead them onto buses. A bus stops main use 
is to decrease traffic. If an area of road is suffering from heavy 
traffic, placing a bus stop next to it will decrease the traffic flow.

        But, placing just one bus stop isn't enough, you must place at 
least two to be affective. And placing them just anywhere isn't going to 
work. If you have two bus stops, one is in a traffic area, and one is 
out in the middle of nowhere, no one will use either. Bus stops have to 
be in the same area as one another, if they are too far apart, no one 
will use them.

       Don't think that placing two bus stops will decrease the traffic 
of the whole city. A bus stop only affects a small area around it. You 
must place lots of bus stops to get rid of lots of traffic problems.


       Rails are also part of your mass transit system. Rails act as a 
back-up road, they decrease some of the traffic. As you should know, 
catching a train is a lot less of a hassle than driving through a 
traffic jam. When people use the rails it creates less traffic on the 
roads because all the people who were on the road are now on the train. 
Because of this decrease in traffic, less sims are getting angry because 
of the slow roads. This increases the aura of your city. 

       When you first start to build your city, it's a good idea to 
leave a space for a rail. Once your city is built up it's hard to get a 
rail into the residential area. If you want you could place a row of 
parks next to some buildings. Then later on, destroy the parks and 
replace them with rails. Just make sure they weren't the ONLY parks you 
had in your city.

       In order for rails to be useful, you must build at least two 
train stations. Train stations must be built next to a rail, so just 
placing it near a rail won't do the trick. The closer a train station is 
to a populated zone, the busier it will be. If a train station is out in 
the middle of nowhere, I don't think many people will what to get off 
there. Train stations require a monthly fund. The more you raise the 
funding, the better service the trains and train stations provide. With 
better service, more people will use the trains.

       Trains can also be built over roads, forming an intersection. If 
need be, you can also build a rail bridge. And if even more need be, you 
can tunnel through mountains.


       Subways are your next-generation transport systems. A subway is 
like a train rail, but now it's built underground. From the top it might 
look like you have hardly any mass transit, but when you look UNDER your 
city you find a whole network of subways!

       Subways hack the same traffic decreasing punch as your normal 
rails. The good thing about subways is that is takes up hardly any room 
above your city. When I say hardly I'm talking about the actual 
stations, but they're not a problem. If you have a built up city and you 
have no room for highways or rails, subways are you best bet. 

       But don't get too excited, subways are your most expensive form 
of transport. On an average income, you could only expect to build a few 
squares of subway every year. You will be amazed at how fast these 
babies will eat up your cash flow.

       When you're building a subway station, it must be next to, or 
directly above a subway rail. If you place a subway on top of a subway, 
the subway doesn't just reach a dead end. If you place subway rails on 
the other side the trains will just move through the station. Not as 
many people use the subway as they do normal rails, don't ask me why, 
they just don't. When building a subway station, I suggest building it 
away from a train station.


       On the budget screen, it has a space that lets you adjust the 
amount of funding given to the transportation department. Ideally, 
giving the department high funds will bring a positive effect to the 

       Funding helps keep the roads and highways intact. Without 
funding, the roads won't be able to be maintained and eventually they 
will crumble, turning into rubble. When roads begin to crumble, sims 
start taking different routes. When all the routes from residential to 
industrial zones are destroyed, sims will complain, and eventually they 
will leave town.

       Funding also help maintain the mass transit system. The bus stops 
will be able to buy better buses and put on better seat covers. When the 
buses are more comfortable, more sims will start to use them. It helps 
maintain the rails and train stations, and also the subway. With 
insufficient funding, the mass transit system will slowly deteriorate. 
When the mass transit system starts to get a bit run down, less people 
will start to use them. If you look at your budget screen, on the income 
page, just below loans, there is a space that says TRANSIT FAIRS. This 
tells you how much money you're receiving from people using mass 
transit. With less people using mass transit, there will be less money 
flowing into your budget. So it's always good to have at least the 
normal amount of funding.

       If you query a station, it will tell you the monthly cost for 
maintenance. The more people that use the station, the more money that 
you will have to pay to keep the station maintained. Just remember that 
although a station doesn't cost much on its own, when you add up ALL the 
stations in the city, you will be amazed at how much money you're paying 
to keep them all under wrap. This doesn't mean don't build ANY stations, 
it's just to warn you not to place TOO many stations. 


       Connecting to a neighbour can help you in a lot of ways. It 
allows the people in your city to go out and travel to other cities. It 
also lets people in other cities to come into your city. A connection is 
also vital if you want to make a deal with a neighbour.

       Roads, highways, rails, and subways can all connect to a 
neighbour. To make a connection, simply build a road/highway/rail/subway 
right on the edge of the map. You will be asked if you want to make a 
connection, and how much it will cost. If you don't have enough funds to 
make a connection, it will tell you that the construction was terminated 
due to insufficient funds. If you have enough funds, and you agree to 
the price, the connection will automatically be built.

Benefits of a Connection: 

Industrial: By making a connection, it allows your industry to export 
and import goods. With a demand for more goods, more industries will 
come to your city. 

Commercial: A connection will allow people from other cities to come in 
and purchase items from all the shops in your city. With more people buy 
more things, your town will need more stores. This increases the town's 
demand for commercial zones.

Neighbouring Deals: A Connection will allow you to export or import 
garbage. If you can't cope with the amount of garbage your town 
produces, you can make a deal with a neighbour to export your garbage to 
them. This will cost you of course, would you take other peoples garbage 
for free? You can also import garbage from a neighbour if THEY are 
having a garbage problem. They will give you money for this service.

Population: A connection will also allow a lot of tourist to venture 
into your city. When these tourists come to your city and see a 
paradise, they will decide to live there. This will raise your demand 
for residential.


       This FAQ cannot be copied................I really don't feel like 
written this all over again. Your smart, you should know what you can 
and can't do.

This FAQ is copyright © Karl Jobst™ 2000 

       I once again thanks Ian Rogers, for whom I would have never 
written my first FAQ.

       I thanks Maxis for the game.

       I thanks me.

       And that's about it.

       E-mail me with suggestions, comments and stuff like that. 

       SEE YA

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