Experiments in Multi-City Commutes

By Dr. Nikolaus Wilson, August 27, 2010 10:24

Banner City Journal Entry 9 - SC4 Multi City Commute Project
I am experimenting with multi-city commutes.

You all know that the sims can and will commute to the neighboring city if their home city doesn’t provide enough jobs. Why, who would not? What some people don’t know, the SimCity 4 (SC4) simulator can also handle what I call multi-city commute, that means: sims not only commuting to the neighboring city but 10, 20 or 30 km in one direction, thereby crossing multiple city tiles.

The SC4 simulator doesn’t like multi-city commute, though. He has to be encouraged. This can be done by different means, e.g. city planning and layout, dedicated traffic systems, or use of modern high-tech puzzle pieces as ESURE. You don’t believe in multi-city travel? Watch this test picture I made yesterday:

Multi-city commuter in actionYou can see 764 sims entering the city tile on the lower right corner via a single track rail line and leaving the tile in the upper left to head for jobs in the next city tile. That proves multi-city commute is possible.

Region GRUNEN has a lot of residents in Zweifingern (south of the picture) and a lot of jobs in Bai-Nord (west of picture). The distance is around 9 km, a distance every one in real life would easily commute. What I will do in the next week is encourage my sims in Zweifingern to commute to Bai-Nord. You will see glimpses in a rapid succession showing the recent growth in Zweifingern and Bai-North, the reasons why that is and my efforts to make the sims look 9 km further when seeking for a job.

I invite you to follow me on that interesting city developing project. It’s free!

4 Responses to “Experiments in Multi-City Commutes”

  1. CSGdesign says:

    The sims will exit a city by the closest point if they are unable to find a suitable job in their own city.

    When you open up that next city, it reads how many sims are coming in at any particular point (in your case a rail) and searches for suitable jobs in that city for them.

    If the simulator finds a suitable job, then they get it and a permanent intercity commute is formed (until the workplace or home upgrades, of course).

    If the simulator cannot find a suitable job, then they move off the closest edge that isn’t the same as the edge they came in on. Potentially this could keep happening for an endless number of tiles, and in fact that is how eternal commuter loops form – because these “undesirables” keep getting passed on to the next city, and eventually get added to the original city’s “exported” commuters to form an ever greater number going around and around, made worse every time you open and play all those city tiles.

    Another way to do that is to have no exits, therefore forcing traffic to travel through your city to the next. This can in fact be artificially constructed into an eternal commuter feedback loop that gets greater and greater, which you can then tax with toll booths without ever actually taxing an actual sim. Big coin can be made like this if you’re patient and careful, and it can be then pinched off so that the ET’s are never actually part of your true commuter traffic, just a small few road tiles and a toll booth in the corner, for example.

    Also: How come I can’t see the other two comments… even when logged in? It says there’s 2 responses (now 3) to your post, but I can’t see them or a link to view them…?

  2. Dr. Nikolaus Wilson says:

    Thank you for your comment, CSG!

    I try to make use of the effects you described above to make my (workless) sims travel two tiles further to an industrial center and catch up work there. I eventually succeeded. Take a look at the newer posts, especially: “Multi City Commute: The Finale”. I introduced a dedicated rail line crossing the tile between residential and industrial part. As I only put stations at the very ends of the line the sims can’t leave the train until they arrive where I want them to go.

    I know that such construction is risky with view to the eternal commuter issue. Forcing the sims to leave the city tile and even make them travel further may sooner or later trigger eternal commuters. I will be closely watching that issue.

    Nice idea that money-making eternal commuter circle. It never occoured to me. Bet you can get very rich. But I will not introduce that. As with all natural growth cities I already have too much money :) .

    And finally: You can not see the other two comments because there are no other comments. Why? The other two “comments” are pingbacks. My wordpress theme counts them as comments. Perhaps I have the time to check on that issue one day (but that is not very likely).

    Thanks again for joining in my project with your advice!

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