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(Skylines) What is the secret to building good subway lines?

It's a blessing and a curse that in Skylines, you have to manually draw your own subway and bus lines. in SC4, you could plop them just about anywhere and they'd be used, and the game would figure out all of the messy mechanics by itself. 

In my skylines cities, I usually plop 2-4 subway stations in each district, depending on the size. People in this game seem to be willing to walk much further than the sims in SC4 were willing to walk.

I then draw a couple of generic large loops through the entire city first, each one taking slightly different side routes and stops. I then draw smaller north-south and east-west loops that are more localized, and hope that the CIMS just switch lines when they need to. Oh, and I found out the hard way, they all have to be in a loop, or else the line doesn't run at all. 

Bus lines are even more challenging for me, because you have to place the bus stops on a good, high capacity road. I've seen traffic jams putting them on side streets. 

Anyone got any tips on this regard? It's been a bit challenging for me so far. Otherwise, a fantastic game. Finna

I hate the loop requirement. Doesn't make sense from the way an actual subway runs, but what can you do? I usually save subways for later in the game, and place them mostly in the metropolitan areas because of the loop. I might do a loop around the outer perimeter as well, but don't spend too much time on them, because adjusting them is miserable.

If anyone has good tips, I'd love to know them as well!
Yea I've more or less been dealing with it as best I can. I run quite a few lines and don't try to overthink where they run, and just try to get good coverage on all of the stations.

The hardest part is when you need to add a new neighborhood or district that's just outside of where you've already built. You now have to add new stations that are outside of your loop, which means adjusting the routes.

Another painful aspect of the game is highways. I love the freedom to make your own interchanges, but drawing them individually, ramp by ramp, can be a bit of a pain. I've got a 5 level interchange in one of my cities that is over 20 ramps in total, and designing it was a challenge to say the least. SC4 did them automatically, which was a time saver.

(June 30th, 2019 at 8:22 PM)Darth-Apple Wrote: The hardest part is when you need to add a new neighborhood or district that's just outside of where you've already built. You now have to add new stations that are outside of your loop, which means adjusting the routes.

Another painful aspect of the game is highways. I love the freedom to make your own interchanges, but drawing them individually, ramp by ramp, can be a bit of a pain. I've got a 5 level interchange in one of my cities that is over 20 ramps in total, and designing it was a challenge to say the least. SC4 did them automatically, which was a time saver.

That's why I wait until later, and usually once they're outside of my loops I consider that the suburbs and just set up bus lines. That is one major pain with the subways.

Yeah... the highways are also a pain, and building them yourself can make them clunky or ugly. The premade ones are way too large, so I always make them myself. Correcting them multiple times to get a decent looking realistic interchange or ramp system is always a challenge. I wish the ramps and one-ways were more configurable as well. As in: there's a ramp that drops off the northbound road, but it creates an intersection for all when I just want it to be a one-way ramp. Drives me crazy. Tongue
Yes, that drives me crazy too. There isn't a proper merge lane on there, so no matter what you do, you end up with traffic lights everywhere. Finna

There's a mod called "Move It" that is a godsend. Basically it allows you to select any road or any junction between segments of roads, and drag them to move them after the road has already been built. I just build crude-looking interchanges quickly, and drag the segments to where I want them after I make the basic interchange.

I will have to check that one out! Thanks!

I quit playing with mods a bit ago to try and get some achievements, but playing with them definitely makes the game more whole.
I got a city up to about 160K and was able to have some luck with better subway lines. A few tips I can share:

- CIMS will walk a pretty substantial distance to get to a station. I've seen them walk up to half a tile. Obviously, you don't want to force them to walk this far, but you can very easily put one or two stations per several blocks and be fine.
- Go for relatively straight lines. Zig zag lines are terrible. They won't be used nearly as much as a much more linear route.
- You can put several lines through a station. They will switch lines if they need to.
- Make sure to have a starting point, and create stations (ideally no more than about 10-20 or so), and once you reach the last station, work backwards and create all of the stops going the other direction. This creates a single line that goes in both directions.
- The most important thing is to create lines from the residential areas, and feed the commercial, office, and industrial areas with them. Residential -> residential, or work areas -> work areas are not effective lines.
- In general, you'll have lines that go from residential areas to the workplace areas. You'll have a set of fairly linear routes (not necessarily north/south or east/west, but can go in any direction.) Some will go east/west, and others will go north/south, and you'll have various stations scattered throughout that have multiple lines going through them, allowing CIMS to switch lines.
- Increase funding to increase the number of trains, which reduces the time spent waiting on a train. The faster the route, the more it will be used.

In other words, create a lot of relatively simple, fairly linear lines with 10-20 stops, and space the stops far enough apart to not slow the route, but close enough that cims don't have to walk terribly far.

Doing this, I created pretty successful subway networks that alleviated quite a bit of the traffic in my city. Currently at about 80% traffic flow at 160K, which isn't bad.

Good stuff!

I noticed the walking bit too. very surprising, but it caused my to run walking paths alongside and across my highways for extra walking benefits.
I've been working hard on the metro system for one of my cities (officially Westwood, unofficially "Radiapolis"). This is the best I've managed to get yet in terms of ridership. I future-proofed the layout pretty early in the city, so I've been able to grow the city around it with relatively minimal modifications to the metro system. It's currently averaging around 13K riders/week, and no current issues with gridlock or capacity problems.

It's a bit of a spaghetti map of lines, modeled after the basic concept of having several lines converging near the downtown area, and radiating out into different directions as they approach the outskirts. As a result, the downtown area has many lines tightly packed together, with some areas being very well served by two, three, or even four lines. In general, each tunnel only has a single line running through it, and this seems to do a good job of avoiding any sort of gridlock within the metro system.

This was done so that destination areas in the downtown city will be served by multiple lines, each going in various different directions. As a result, the most densely packed areas of the city are well served by a metro system that can reach almost anywhere in the city with minimal line transfers.

[Image: eCVr7.jpg]

The system is designed with two loops in the downtown area, and various lines radiating out to other parts of the city. The city currently has total-coverage on the metro system, with all areas of the city being within range of at least one metro line.

[Image: WPuEM.jpg]

The transit view panel shows 20 lines in total. If you only count loops once (with are bidirectional with one line for each direction), there are 16 in total. Currently the blue line and the downtown express lines are relatively poorly used. Will probably be rethinking them for future revisions of the system. Outside of that, we're seeing relatively decent ridership.

[Image: pARTJ.jpg]

I'm also using a few different assets from the workshop for multi-platform stations. Technically, these are unnecessary, because if you put two stations in very close proximity, the cims will simply walk from one station to the other to transfer lines. I was a little too anal about this to really approach it the same way, as it just didn't quite seem realistic. Given that intersecting lines and running multiple lines through a single station can cause gridlock within the game, I opted for using four and six platform stations in some places.

These assets are truly a godsend. While it can be a pain to set them up, they allow intersecting lines to share a station without ever sharing a single track. Multiple trains can stop simultaneously at the same station, and riders can switch lines without ever having to leave the station. I have 4-platform stations plastered across the map, with a few 6-platform stations in certain spots. After using them, I am surprised they weren't included in the vanilla game, and probably wouldn't consider ever doing another metro system without them again.

If anyone has any feedback or tips on how this could further be improved, feel free to share! Still learning the ins and outs of the CS metro system. Finna

That... looks AWESOME! It looks like a system should. I probably should do similar with the single lines. Mine get kinda crazy. I funnel multiple lines through one station, never thought of putting two next to each other. Makes sense though, citizens will walk a WAYS to get where they're going, why not walk a bit for a transfer? They already do it for bus->subway and vice versa.

Very nice Darth! Very impressive, and I will say again, it looks awesome! I need to step up my metro game. Even in my redo city it is a MESS.
Thank you for the kind words! It took me several hours to get it done. It took some thought and planning, but it was very much worth it.

The assets I used were:
4 Platform Metro Station (= pattern):

4 platform Metro Station (+ pattern):

6 Platform Metro Station:

Advanced Stop Selection (Required):

The four platform stations are the most important ones. You'll need both stations, because they come in different patterns and you'll end up using both formats pretty heavily. The six platform station is a little less important. I've only used it a few times, but it still comes in handy.

These mods say that you need Traffic++. Don't install it. It doesn't work and has compatibility issues. Use the Advanced Stop Selection mod instead, which allows you to add stops to the additional platforms on the station. There isn't a whole lot of documentation on this, but to use it, just hold shift while you're adding the new stop, and hover over the platform you want to add it to. It works like a charm.

Running only one line through each tunnel is a huge help on the efficiency of the system. Most tunnels can actually handle two lines if needed, but if you run two lines through a tunnel, you should split the line off into two separate lines towards the outer part of the line, going through two separate areas of the city. Washington DC's metro system does this, and I found it worked pretty well for Skylines cities as well.

I'd be interested in seeing yours if you're ever up for posting them!


(August 11th, 2019 at 3:22 PM)Darth-Apple Wrote: I'd be interested in seeing yours if you're ever up for posting them!

I've still got a ways to go before my city is even close to that again. The last one was such a mess I just trashed it. Haven't played the current one in a bit but when I get there, and if I can get anything close to decent with a subway system I will post it.

Unlike my previous network, this one only covers the more densily populated parts of the city. If the subway exists, nobody drives. And I don't like empty roads, so I made one that was a little more practical in terms of aleviating pain points on the road ways rather than trying to do an all-inclusive subway line. 

Once again, the multi-line stations were a godsend. If you haven't picked up the mods (mentioned previously in this thread), I strongly recommend them. I can't imagine doing a good subway network without them.


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