SimCity 2013 Mass Transit Guide – Buses, Streetcars, Trains, Boats, Planes

By   /   Mar 7, 2013

In SimCity, one major issue you could face is transport. Sure, your city might have the finest road design and layout, but it’ll often end up suffering from traffic jams and mishaps.

This can lead to serious secondary problems. For example, following a disaster, your ambulances and fire fighters may not be able to make it in time because of road blocks and traffic issues, increasing the casualty toll and also the damage.

Thus, it’s really important to build a mass transit system for your city. Sadly, they don’t come very cheap, but the direct and indirect benefits of having a good transportation system are quite evident.

Furthermore, they reasonably decrease the amount of cars on the road, which reduces overall traffic and prevention of jams and road blocks. For more help on SimCity, read our Electronics Specialization, Trade Specialization and Power, Water, Sewage Guide.

SimCity Mass Transit Systam

The most basic type of Mass Transit system is that of Buses.


Buses are the most cost-effective ways of transport in the city. They are mainly used by low and mid wealth citizens, and also by low tier tourists.

You can start off with a few Bus Depots and Bus Stops, and then slowly expand the system to get an entire Bus Terminal, some garages, and spread the access of the buses.

The latter bit is important because these very buses may at the end prove to be the sources of congestion on the road. This will result in Sims skipping their work and study, which could actually have a drastic effect on the economy of your city.

Shuttle Bus Depot

  • Cost: 20,000
  • Operational Cost: 300 per hour
  • Buses: 3
  • Bus Capacity: 40 Sims


  • Town Hall

The simple bus depot consists of three buses. This is pretty good if you’ve noticed traffic issues for the first time. You should couple Bus Depots with Bus stops, which are as follows:

  • Cost: 200
  • Operational Cost: 10 per hour
  • Bus Stop Capacity: 125 Sims


  • Shuttle Bus Depot
/ Bus Terminal in region

Bus Depots can be further improved with the help of Shuttle Bus Lots, which cost an additional 7000, but add 3 more buses to the party. You can have a maximum of 8 Bus Lots of a Depot.

Park and Ride

  • Cost: 400
  •  Operational Cost: 30 per hour
  • Bus Stop Capacity: 80 Sims


  • Shuttle Bus Depot
/ Bus Terminal in region

The Park and Ride is basically a bus stop, except that it allows travelers to park cars in the parking lot, and then hop on the bus.

This is pretty useful if you have workers and commuters coming out of the city. It’s generally recommended to build a couple of these near the highway for easy access.

Bus Terminal

  • Cost: 45,000
  • Operational Cost: 750 per hour
  • Buses: 3
  • Bus Capacity: 80 Sims


  • City Hall
  • Department of Transportation in region

The Bus Terminal is basically the bigger brother of Bus Depots. This dispatches very large 80-capacity buses, which greatly reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.

Not only that, it also offers a fairly large parking garage so that commuters can park their cars there. It’s ideal to have a Bus Terminal as well as a smaller Bus Depot, as this will greatly reduce the general traffic.

The cost of the Bus Terminal is reasonably higher than the Bus Depot, but it can pay off, particularly in high density avenues of your city where there isn’t too much traffic.

Like the Bus Depot, you can add up to 8 Municipal Bus Garage modules to the Bus Terminal, increasing the number of buses by 3 for each module. But the cost of the module itself is 15,000!


Another nice alternative to buses (or perhaps a good assistance to them) are street cars. It’s quite important to actually have some street cars being used in your city.

Sure, they aren’t as fast as buses, but having separate tracks gives them a lot of advantage, making them even more suitable for reducing traffic issues than buses themselves.

The only problem with constructing streetcars is that you’ll need a good amount of space. You’ll need to have a High Density Streetcar Avenue, which will then have to be managed properly in collaboration with Streetcar Depots and Streetcar stops.

Streetcar Depot

  • Cost: 30,000
  • Operational Cost: 375 per hour
  • Streetcars: 3
  • Capacity: 200 Sims


  • Town Hall

Streetcar Depots are similar to Bus Depots, except that they act as hubs for streetcars. The Depot building will dispatch and house streetcars throughout the city.

It’s highly recommended that you actually upgrade a currently existing High Density Avenue to a High Density Streetcar Avenue before you construct a depot.

Next, it’s important to target such areas where there is a lot of congestion. Depots serve well near domestic places so that Sims can use them. Streetcars are mainly operated by low and mid wealth Sims, so you should know which districts to place them with.

For increased efficiency, you should consider adding some Streetcar Garage modules to your depot. Each module costs 3,000, and will increase your streetcar capacity by a good amount.

In addition to the depot and module, you’ll need a collection of well-placed streetcar stops along the roadsides of targeted areas. You should have them in domestic as well as commercial areas.

Furthermore, sometimes tourists will opt for streetcars instead of buses, so it’s not a bad idea to have some stops near tourist attraction areas.

A street car stop has the following expenditures:

  • Cost: 500
  • Operational Cost: 30 per hour
  • Streetcar Stop Capacity: 200 Sims


  • Streetcar Depot

You’ll get a good idea of the right places to place the stops by the highlighted green area.

Basically, this represents the walking distance that Sims would take to get to the stop before going after any other method of transport. Add some adjacent stops according to the green highlighted area so they can cover as much space as possible.

High Density Streetcar Avenue

  • Cost: 30
  • Operational Cost: None
  • Number of Lanes: 6

Maximum Density Supported:

  • High

The High Density Streetcar Avenue is a must-have if you’ve got a streetcar system running in your city. You should create a streetcar depot adjacent to the avenue to gain advantage of having one. Then, you can create streetcar stops giving Sims a place to board and get off a streetcar.

As ridership increases, fewer and fewer cars will appear on the venue, greatly reducing congestion and traffic issues.

Street Tracks
It’s important to have street tracks between different High Density Streetcar Avenues that never really connect. With this, you can interconnect different areas of a large city.

Try to build tracks in places that do not intersect conventional roads, as the streetcars will have to obey traffic rules, which may lead to congestion and traffic problems. This can mean extending the tracks through underdeveloped areas, even if the route does get longer.


Streetcars and Buses offer a good solution to traffic issues inside a specific city, but for tourists and travel across interconnected cities in a given region, you need something faster and more effective.

That’s where trains come in. Trains will not only transport normal citizens between cities, but also increase the number of tourists that come to the city.

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