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Offline Ves

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How to catch the commuters?
« on: December 12, 2017, 07:58:41 PM »
In the current servergame, I have connected a bunch of industries which lies quite far away from the nearest city. If you want to find them in game, it is the sheep farms at <905,1263>, <753,1211>, <785,1041> and <756,1036>.
I have connected some stagecoaches, reassigned to "Low" and "Very low", with them which runs into the nearest city in some "low class" areas of the city, running in appr an hourly service. The cities (there are two) both reports having around 4 times more residents than jobs, so my intuition would say that every four inhabitant of that city just wanders around with nothing to do, screaming for jobs.
However, what happens is that a bunch of VISITORS wants to go there, but no commuters, with the result of the industries suffering the horrible "out of staff" -death.

This I have also noted on another place in the server, an iron ore mine located <1460,779>. Here the conditions are similar as to the sheep farms, resulting in no production what so ever.

Am I doing something wrong?

edit:
All in general, it appears that even if an industrie lies inside the city, it can suffer from 100% out of staff.

How do we get those lazy commuters to work? ;D
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 08:15:51 PM by Ves »

Offline AP

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 08:19:52 PM »
And where do the workers live for the ore mines and such located up in the hills. Is there a "max commuter range"?

Do comfort tolerances apply to commuters, or can we cram them in and they are guaranteed to pay exhorbitant fares because they simply must go to work...

Offline Jando

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 10:49:43 AM »
Awfully sorry but I'm seeing the same.

Screenshot is here: http://files.simutrans.com/index.php/s/jZwr4chuxRqE2HK
Saved game is here: http://files.simutrans.com/index.php/s/fPMJazJkvWPnUeB

Just a small operation, 1 dairy supplied by 2 cattle farms. One of the farms has passenger service to the dairy as well.
- Dairy is the only industry in town, did work correctly for about 1 1/2 game years (fast forward) but recently went to staff shortage and stopped operations.
- Cattle farm to the south-west has worked correctly for about 1 1/2 years (no passenger service) but recently went to staff shortage and stopped operations.
- Cattle farm to the east (with passenger service) never worked (apart from right at the start of the map), constant staff shortage, no operations.
- On a positive note: the passenger service to the eastern cattle farm makes profits bringing mostly very low visitors from farm to town and back :)
- All information on numbers of visitors and commuters in industry window of eastern farm seems to be wrong.

And to me it seems a very odd mechanic to make profit by bringing very low class people in a stage coach to a cattle farm and back. Who pays for their transport tickets? What are they doing there, hehe? :)

Edit: Just a wild guess, may it be that commuters are somehow registered as visitors? I'm seeing way too many visitors for a little cattle farm.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 03:50:34 PM by Jando »

Offline zook2

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 10:00:53 PM »
I guess what makes sense for a 1950's factory (workers taking the number 19 bus every morning) doesn't make a lot of sense for a 1750's farm. Within or near a town the system works - commuters can walk to their workplace. But outlying farms, mines etc. need a new minimum-staff% parameter. For a 18th- or 19th-century farm 90 or 100% of workers (farmhands) might probably live on the farm itself, while miners taking the Number 19 from the town to a 20th-century colliery sounds realistic.

Offline AP

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 10:06:36 PM »
When a 1750s-1850s coal mine spawns in the hills, miles from anywhere, a little mining town should spawn next to it, to provide the labour.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 10:26:24 PM by AP »

Offline wlindley

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 10:10:22 PM »
Agreed, AP. An entirely alternate approach to town and map creation would be that realistically, towns occur only where things like natural harbors or confluences of rivers occur, or else around agricultural or industrial development.  As far as coding something like that, some years on we still haven't got ability to make textile mills spawn only next to rivers.  I am so rusty at C++ programming...

Offline AP

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 10:28:00 PM »
Agreed, AP. An entirely alternate approach to town and map creation would be that realistically, towns occur only where things like natural harbors or confluences of rivers occur, or else around agricultural or industrial development.  As far as coding something like that, some years on we still haven't got ability to make textile mills spawn only next to rivers.  I am so rusty at C++ programming...

A good point too. I mean, why would a mine spawn in the hills if here is no water source for the workers to drink from? It just wouldn't. Good think we now have river generation as part of the code.

Offline Jando

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 11:07:02 PM »
When a 1750s-1850s coal mine spawns in the hills, miles from anywhere, a little mining town should spawn next to it, to provide the labour.

Well, that's why I suggested to spawn suppliers (mines, farms, etc.) closer to town. In real life towns develop around locations, something that is difficult to do in code, might as well spawn mines and farms closer to town then, effect is the same, workers in early years need to walk to their job.

Offline zook2

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 11:15:08 PM »
I guess they'd drill a well. But the mining town idea is spot-on. And for realism we'd need farms to be centered on small villages. 200 inhabitants, no other industry, but each would come with a market. Milk, wool, gran, meat etc. would "walk" there and could be picked up by a transport company. No need for extra roads. Commuters would walk to the farms and provide labour. In later centuries, with trucks and higher farm output, a transport company could of course choose to connect the farms directly and boost their production. Small coastal villages would have a limited amount of fish. Villages in a forest might sell small amounts of wood. Etc. etc.

If we can bring milk to a dairy as a consumer and just assume that it's taken from there by an invisible milkman to the real consumer, we can do the same at the beginning of the chain - the invisible farmer taking the milk to the village market.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2017, 12:25:10 AM »
Apologies for the delay in replying in respect of this: I have been rather busy in the last few days.

Firstly, I have looked at Jando's saved game. What appears to be happening there with the diary is that it had run out of milk, and so no staff were demanded. Once milk arrived, it took some time for the staff, now demanded, to walk to the diary to start work, during which time, it would be constrained by a staff shortage. However, a short while after the arrival of milk, some staff arrive, and the dairy sets to work as usual. Then the milk runs out and the process repeats itself. There seems to be an inadequate supply of milk to the dairy.

Secondly, as to commuters' range: there is a range, but this is in time, not in distance. All commuters have a journey time tolerance, like all passengers. At default settings for commuters, this is randomised between half an hour and two hours. This should allow for walking to nearby industries in the early eras, but may well require transport in the later eras.

Thirdly, as far as industries' proximity to towns is concerned, the idea is that industries out of town such as mines and farms have a maximum distance to the consumer. This is set in each industry's .dat file. The consumers are almost inevitably buildings in towns such as markets, diaries and shops (and, in later eras, factories), so that the industries will be near enough to towns that enough commuters can walk. In some earlier builds, there was a bug in the system for generating industries such that they were allowed to be too far away from their consumers, but this has now been fixed. However, if your saved game was started before the fix, the effects of this bug in the placement of existing industries will persist.

In later times, industries are able to spawn further from their consumers than in earlier times, meaning that primary industries may need transport to get workers to them. This is realistic so far as I am aware: workmen's trains with their special low fares (equivalent to "very low" in Simutrans-Extended) were an important part of Victorian life.

As to building towns near industries automatically, anything like that falls to be considered with the planned town growth changes: that would be a very substantial additional piece of work (to do it properly so as not to cause the overall population to increase too quickly or break other things), and is at least several years away from being able to be considered. However, if anyone would like to work on coding the town growth/generation algorithm, that would help considerably, although note that doing this properly will involve more than just invoking the build town code whenever an industry spawns some distance from a town: it will need to be a detailed and realistic simulation of the relationship between town and industry growth and is likely to require a full simulation of several layers of economics currently not modelled at all.

Finally, I should note that there is already a system for towns tending to spawn near water (either rivers, lakes or the coast). In the climate settings with new map generation, there is a "cities like water" setting. If you want your cities to spawn only near rivers, lakes or the coast, set this to 100%.

Offline Jando

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 11:41:16 AM »
Apologies for the delay in replying in respect of this: I have been rather busy in the last few days.

Thanks for your answers, James! And certainly no apologies needed. Rather the opposite, I should apologize! :)

Firstly, I have looked at Jando's saved game. What appears to be happening there with the diary is that it had run out of milk, and so no staff were demanded. Once milk arrived, it took some time for the staff, now demanded, to walk to the diary to start work, during which time, it would be constrained by a staff shortage. However, a short while after the arrival of milk, some staff arrive, and the dairy sets to work as usual. Then the milk runs out and the process repeats itself. There seems to be an inadequate supply of milk to the dairy.

Aye, two sheep farms are needed to fully supply a dairy (that's fine!) and the eastern sheep farm never got any commuters, thus never delivered milk.

Thirdly, as far as industries' proximity to towns is concerned, the idea is that industries out of town such as mines and farms have a maximum distance to the consumer. This is set in each industry's .dat file. The consumers are almost inevitably buildings in towns such as markets, diaries and shops (and, in later eras, factories), so that the industries will be near enough to towns that enough commuters can walk. In some earlier builds, there was a bug in the system for generating industries such that they were allowed to be too far away from their consumers, but this has now been fixed. However, if your saved game was started before the fix, the effects of this bug in the placement of existing industries will persist. ...

I'll just repeat the same test with a new map made with the current nightly and will report back results tomorrow.

Thank you again!

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 01:02:09 PM »
Splendid, thank you!

Offline Ves

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 01:45:47 PM »
James, dont worry about apologizing!
Just curios, did you have a look on the industries I mentioned too? The coordinates are to be used in the servergame.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2017, 02:04:30 PM »
James, dont worry about apologizing!
Just curios, did you have a look on the industries I mentioned too? The coordinates are to be used in the servergame.

Is the issue with these industries simply that they are further than 8km (64 tiles) from the nearest residential buildings without any player transport? If so, they will be outside the maximum commuting range (120 minutes at 4km/h) and will not be able to be serviced by walking commuters.

Offline Ves

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2017, 02:36:35 PM »
Yes and no. They are located more than 8 km away, but there are stagecoaches with appropriate classes serving them with a frequency of around 1 hour and 15 minutes for one of the lines, and 2 hours for the other line.
There are plenty of visitors that travel out to them, but few, if any, commuters.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2017, 03:26:12 PM »
Yes and no. They are located more than 8 km away, but there are stagecoaches with appropriate classes serving them with a frequency of around 1 hour and 15 minutes for one of the lines, and 2 hours for the other line.
There are plenty of visitors that travel out to them, but few, if any, commuters.

Does the travelling time plus the waiting time plus the transfer time plus walking at either end of the journey add up to more than 2 hours?

Offline Ves

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2017, 07:23:23 PM »
Oh, I guess you got me there.
The travel time for the closest sheep farm to the closest stop within the nearby city is 1:32 hours, and a waitingtime of 31:54 minutes. So that combined is more than two hours indeed.

With the current technology level on the map, there are not really any faster way to get there, than by stagecoach. Already I have 5 and 6 convoys on each line to get a ca half hourly service, and the line is indeed also making profit with visitors. Adding even more stagecoaches to get the waiting time down seems to be a bit overkill. Have you ever heard a public transport to a farm every 15 minutes? and in the year 1757?

Could I do something different, or should I just consider those industries to be out of reach until better vehicles appear?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2017, 07:40:55 PM »
Oh, I guess you got me there.
The travel time for the closest sheep farm to the closest stop within the nearby city is 1:32 hours, and a waitingtime of 31:54 minutes. So that combined is more than two hours indeed.

With the current technology level on the map, there are not really any faster way to get there, than by stagecoach. Already I have 5 and 6 convoys on each line to get a ca half hourly service, and the line is indeed also making profit with visitors. Adding even more stagecoaches to get the waiting time down seems to be a bit overkill. Have you ever heard a public transport to a farm every 15 minutes? and in the year 1757?

Could I do something different, or should I just consider those industries to be out of reach until better vehicles appear?

In reality, in 1757, farms were always within walking distance of settlements; although a few people would live on farms, most of the labourers would live nearby. The intention is for the farms to have to be within a certain distance of a consumer industry (e.g. a market), which, in turn, has to be in a town/village. May I ask - what is the distance to each of the things to which this farm is connected? It would be useful to know whether this feature is working incorrectly or needs re-calibrating. Also, do you think that a 2 hour maximum commute time might be too short? I should be interested to see data on this.

Offline Ves

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2017, 08:06:09 PM »
Being a commuter myself, I usually travel 2 x 170km per day (back and forth), which by the fast train takes the 1:15 hours. The slow train takes 1:30 and the really slow train takes around 2 hours. I have collegues which have another 40 minutes by train!
And then I know other people who travel about twice the distance, with twice the hours to complete the jurney.
2 hours is a really long time to sit in a train two times per day, so I understand the 2 hour limit, at least for present day.

What we have in reality though, is that we know when the train departs. Therefore, waitingtime for me is as good as zero, since I only show up to some minutes before the train departs. For commuters, the most important "feature" of a transport network is predictability. I would much rather know what time the train departs every day, and then ride for two hours, than dont know when it depart and so adding up a possibly very high waiting time to the two hours.

The waiting time in simutrans might hit beyond the target because of that Im afraid.

The nearest sheep farms of the four I mention in the game is around 13km away from the city. The furthest of the four is around 20km away from the city. The distance to the consumer appears to be around 20km too.


Is the maximum traveltime the same for all classes?
Unwealthy people usually have less to say and need to take what job they can get, even if they are far away, resulting in a higher commuter travel time tolerance. Rich people, being spoiled, dont want to spend hours traveling if they dont have to, so they could have lower commuter time tolerance.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2017, 12:48:08 AM »
Firstly, there is no distinction between the journey time tolerance for people of different wealth, nor does it make sense for there to be, as the only reason that wealthy people might travel for less time is that they have more options to do so, and those options (private car/horse carriage, more expensive public transport) are directly simulated.

Looking at the figures, it does seem as though the maximum distance to consumer for many farms, etc., is greater than the maximum commuting distance on foot. I have reduced this a little in the pakset for the early industries. I have also increased the maximum commuting journey time tolerance from 2 to 3 hours (although note that the passengers' actual journey time tolerance will be randomised between 30 minutes and 3 hours).

However, thinking about this, this really cannot be a complete solution to the issue. The mines, etc., will need to be able to provide realistic transport opportunities to send products to far distant places, yet still be, in the early days, within walking distance of a town.

It may well be that industries need to have a maximum distance to towns set, too, although this would take some additional work to implement. I should be grateful for any feedback on the idea of having a maximum distance to town set in each industry, however, especially given that a probable tradeoff for such a feature would be an increased map generation time.

Offline zook2

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2017, 02:32:20 AM »
You could introduce a Minimum Staff level for industries - the amount of workers who live on-site. If a coal mine is within walking distance of a town, it automatically gets only 10% of its labour supplied. If it isn't, it gets 50%.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2017, 11:03:39 AM »
You could introduce a Minimum Staff level for industries - the amount of workers who live on-site. If a coal mine is within walking distance of a town, it automatically gets only 10% of its labour supplied. If it isn't, it gets 50%.

I do not think that that makes much sense, as people never did live in a coal mine. That also fails to account for the visiting trips that those on-site passengers would make.

Offline Ves

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2017, 02:05:39 PM »
I still think, without any scientific evidence, that low class passengers would consider travel (uncomfortable) for a longer time than a wealthy passenger if it gave them a job.
Anyway, I do understand the argument that high class passengers just have more options to NOT travel for a long distance if they get the chance.

I believe that in the future, if you can get a new city to spawn within walking distance of the remote mine, the issue would be eliminated totally.

Until then, I think that is good what you did, increasing the maximum to 3 hours and reduce the distance to consumers slightly. Remember, the 3 hours is the max-case, and it could even be up to 4 hours for that matter...

Offline Jando

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2017, 04:48:17 PM »
... However, thinking about this, this really cannot be a complete solution to the issue. The mines, etc., will need to be able to provide realistic transport opportunities to send products to far distant places, yet still be, in the early days, within walking distance of a town.

It may well be that industries need to have a maximum distance to towns set, too, although this would take some additional work to implement. I should be grateful for any feedback on the idea of having a maximum distance to town set in each industry, however, especially given that a probable tradeoff for such a feature would be an increased map generation time.

Greetings, James!

I'm  happy that you are considering a maximum distance of industries to towns. No surprise here, I know, I've asked for industries to be closer to town a few times, hehe.

It's - as far as I can see - the only reliable method to get commuters to an industry. I made a number of new maps with the latest nightly and I believe the attempt of increasing the tolerable walking time is heavily depending on how many towns the player puts on a given map size. With relatively dense maps (many towns close to each other) it's likely that a town is within walking distance of a farm/mine/etc. Not so however for less dense maps with more open land between towns. For these less dense maps many farms/mines would be out of range of any town and thus never produce anything due to having no staff.

Having industries closer to town also helps with the freight revenue problem. (Road building costs/maintenance costs higher than revenue earned on that road).

And - very significantly in my view - it fits with real life history. Even funny, in the other thread about passenger numbers we talk about that in early years very low/low class people don't have the money to travel on stage coach from town to town. Yet. for farmhands now, we need to run several of the same stage coaches between a small village and a sheep farm to keep the sheep farm staffed. :)

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2017, 12:16:46 AM »
Thank you for all of your thoughts. On reflection, it does seem that town generation near industries may well be necessary in due course, and so I have added it to the list of current coding projects. As will be observed, however, this is a very long list, and it is getting longer, not shorter.

This feature does raise some difficult questions as to implementation. For example, if a player specifies a certain number of towns on map generation, how can this be enforced if additional towns are created to serve nearby industries? Because towns are generated before industries, there is no way of doing this without a major rewrite of map generation code. The only (partial) solution of which I can think is to call these new towns "villages" and thus consider them as being not counted as "towns" for map generation purposes. These towns/villages would be likely to be small, so could properly be considered as villages. It may be desirable, however, to have a different town/village hall graphic for these small settlements, albeit that is a pakset, not a code, matter.

Another challenging issue is how these small towns will fit in with algorithms to determine the rate of town growth. This work will probably have to be done after or at the same time as the new system for town growth is implemented, and care would have to be taken to make sure that adding a whole extra town does not interfere with the correct computation of the overall population growth to ensure that that growth is kept within realistic limits.

Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 08:37:08 PM »
Sorry to reopen this, but I have another headache to add to the commuter situation, and that has to do with the wayward way of map generation I make a habit of.

In my latest map (largest starting town just over 600), I found myself with a grain farm with 36 jobs right next to a village of barely 300 inhabitants. Commuters do show up, in fact the count is at 39 at the moment while jobs decreased to 27. But from what I see the town is simply too small to provide enough commuters to keep this farm running (to say nothing of the two right next door in addition).

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2018, 08:57:03 PM »
Sorry to reopen this, but I have another headache to add to the commuter situation, and that has to do with the wayward way of map generation I make a habit of.

In my latest map (largest starting town just over 600), I found myself with a grain farm with 36 jobs right next to a village of barely 300 inhabitants. Commuters do show up, in fact the count is at 39 at the moment while jobs decreased to 27. But from what I see the town is simply too small to provide enough commuters to keep this farm running (to say nothing of the two right next door in addition).

Ultimately, the way of calibrating this has to be to specify the correct number of and size of towns so as to be able to give rise to a sufficient population to supply the number of industries generated.

Offline Jando

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2018, 01:45:55 AM »
Thank you for all of your thoughts. On reflection, it does seem that town generation near industries may well be necessary in due course, and so I have added it to the list of current coding projects. ....

My apologies for replying that late, seems I had missed your post, James.

Sorry, but I don't think that generating new villages near producers in the countryside will do any good though. I'd rather producers get placed near towns instead of new towns pop up near producers. Reason: on one of my typical maps we may well need 50 or even more new villages to supply the work force for farms in the countryside. On a map with decent distances (say around 20-30 km) between neighbouring towns it's likely that more than 90% of all farms are currently not near a town.

Can't pop-up a new village for all of them I believe.

The idea of settlements developing near raw material locations is valid for mines and the rather uncommon producers like clay pits and quarries but would be odd for the vast majority of all producers in the game, i.e. all the different types of farms.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2018, 05:21:53 AM »
When villages become large cities the industries start to have problems with reliable worker figures as commute time from one side of the city to another is beyond the tolerated amount. This is not realistic as the workers would live in homes closer to the industry.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 05:39:02 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2018, 07:37:12 AM »
I think this hits on one of the challenges in the economic model. Simutrans and the family of transport simulations it belong to are based on a largely demand-based model, the passengers and goods demand, the company has to supply. Before the democratization of transport with the motor car and dense road networks, the balance was much more to a supply-driven model than we're generally used to in our world, for the simple reason there was no viable alternative. To be sure, transport companies would set up shop where there was already sufficient demand, but generally the existence of good transport links determined the travel patterns and from there the choices people made, where they would live and work, who they would visit, where they would send their goods (especially perishable), with some exceptions (pilgrimige/tourism, some luxury goods, etc.).

For commuting this gave more or less the following development:
- Before the transport revolution, commuting by public transport simply didn't exist. Workers couldn't afford it. They would walk to work and back and if they needed work elsewhere they would relocate close enough to do so. The super-rich would commute to the range of a galopping horse, but could afford private transport.
- In the early time of the railways, gradually some middle class could afford to commute. There was only one form of transport that allowed them to do so, the railways. So they would relocate close to a railway station within reasonable distance. Around major metropolitan areas railway companies stimulated this by building a cats cradle of commuter lines, sometimes engaging into urban development to further boost this (Metro-land). In other places this could lead to a series of commuter towns strung out along a single line (Birkenhead-Eastham for example, or in my country the towns of Het Gooi, Naarden, Bussum, Laren, Hilversum and Baarn, all along either the Amsterdam-Amersfoort rail line or the former Gooische Steam Tram Line). Where there was either no rail line or no economic growth, life would continue the same course it had always done.
- In the later times, first the bicycle, bus and then the car changed the pattern dramatically, each in their own way. The bicycle increased the range of the tried and true 'commuting on foot' dramatically. The bus made the available network that much more dense. The car democratized commuting using private transport. Now public transport had to compete. The consumer, having an alternative, was king, and we get the model we're used to. In the very late stages, this led to traffic jams around metropolitan areas, and by choice people might revert there to the public transport model or a hybrid model (Park and Ride).

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to catch the commuters?
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2018, 11:50:57 AM »
Firstly, I should note, as I have posted elsewhere, that the latest nightly build (the first with version number 13.3) introduces a new simuconf.tab setting, enabled by default in older saved games, rural_industries_no_staff_shortage, which, when enabled, allows industries not situated in towns to continue to produce/consume as normal even if they have insufficient or no workers. This it intended to be an interim solution until more realistic town generation can be devised (given that town growth is not at the top of the queue of important feature changes), but might also be considered a sort of difficulty setting. It is recommended that this setting be enabled until such time as town generation is improved.

Secondly, I do not understand why it is suggested that generating new villages near rural industries will not do any good. That many villages would be needed does not seem to be a valid objection, given that equally many villages would have been needed in reality. Villages in reality actually tend to be about twice the walking commuting range tolerance for actual people apart, on the basis that they were settled where they were precisely because a settlement was needed in that location in order for the people who worked the local farms to have somewhere to live (and most farm workers lived in villages rather than on the farms themselves).

As to large cities, the plan is for the town growth algorithm to take into account the passenger supply to nearby industries and commercial buildings (among other things) when placing new industries in towns (which it is planned will be placed using the town growth algorithm rather than a separate industry algorithm). That should deal with the issue of industries being built in places where passenger supply is poor. Of course, supplying sufficient passengers to industries is an important part of the game by the mid-19th century, and would be a reason for players to build tram networks in towns (just as in reality).

I am not sure that I understand what exactly is meant by the statement that Simutrans is based on a demand-based model, which is at variance with the economic model existing in times past. Dutchman on Rails - can I ask you to elaborate on which algorithmic features of Simutrans-Extended are at variance with the economy of the second half of the 18th century?

I should note that the planned improvements to town growth are intended to simulate precisely the sort of changes over time in how towns grow that Dutchman on Rails describes.