SimCity iPhone — HOWTO run mass transit?

One of the problems with software released for the iPhone and iPod Touch (the latter of which we have) is that documentation can be a bit on the thin side, if there is any at all. SimCity knows is a complicated game, and simply laying zones and roads will not result in a happy metropolis. I’ve been happily playing the new SimCity iPhone (on the iPod Touch) for a few days.  My frustration comes from that I can’t figure out for the life of me is how to make buses run. I can place bus stops all around town, but my advisors won’t tell me how to start a bus service. This is a problem, because the people of Monkeyville need to get to work, but for some reason, many of them just can’t. I don’t want my fair SimCitizens to leave town just because they can’t get to work. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Update: A friend wrote, ” Busses [sic.] run themselves.. all you need to build are the shelters. But you have to build a shitload of them. i.e. every couple blocks, in both directions. you need to design routes in your head, and then put bus stops accordingly. That’s why I go car only in my cities. 🙂 ”

10 June 2009: I recall that when you build train stations and accompanying tracks, you may not see the trains running unless you are sufficiently zoomed in. That is to say, you don’t see them when you’re looking at a birds’ eye view of the city. I believe buses work the same way. I wish you could see them while zoomed out, but so be it.

4 September 2011: So, I started playing SimCity again, this time on the iPad. It’s much easier to play on the big touch screen! Also, it seems that transit works best in areas with medium-to-high residential density. Makes sense if you think about it. Also, I think it’s much easier to add bus stops to a built city than it is to clear a path for rail service. (That almost goes without saying.) Once on a whim, I started a new city, and first thing, I laid down rail lines, even before I had placed zones. (Gotta save the cash!) Also, I found that I had an easy time placing medium-density residential zones around the rail stop. The zones filled in quickly.

It’s like how it is with today’s sprawled reality: places with dense(r) residential, commercial, or industrial areas will be better served by mass transit than widely, thinly spread areas. By building my city to be dense, I had the train stations getting hundreds of SimRiders per day. Depots in lighter residential areas stayed close to zero.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

1 thought on “SimCity iPhone — HOWTO run mass transit?”

  1. I’ve been playing the game on my itouch too. Inever played the game before and it’s been great fun trying to figure it out. Two frustrations: the sims are demanding constantly a major league sports stadium but it’s not an option in any of the menus that I can see.
    The other problem is I can’t get my mass transit working either. I can’t get the trolley stations to lay in the right direction so the trolley can pull in instead of hitting the wrong side. I have not tried buses. If you like, I’ll open anew city and try to get the buses to work if you’ll open a new city and experiment with trolleys. Better stiill if anyone knows how to do it I appreciate the advice. Lin

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