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Author Topic: [Poll] Fixed vehicle upkeep costs - where should they be accounted?  (Read 2599 times)

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Offline jamespetts gb

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In version 3.0, a new type of upkeep cost for vehicles was introduced: fixed monthly maintenance. If the pakset author specifies a fixed maintenance cost, the stipulated amount (adjusted for the ticks per month setting) is deducted every month per vehicle of that type belonging to the player, whether or not it is being used and irrespective of how far that it has travelled. It is additional to the per kilometre cost for vehicle upkeep.

The finance window has two types of costs: (1) "operation costs"; and (2) "maintenance". In Simutrans-Standard, operation costs are the per kilometre cost of vehicle upkeep, and "maintenance" is the cost of maintaining the track, roads, depots, stations, etc., which all have fixed monthly costs. Those categories are preserved in Simutrans-Experimental.

The question is, where is it best to put the new fixed upkeep costs for vehicles? Ought it be grouped with other fixed costs in "maintenance", or with other vehicle related costs in "operation costs"? So far, I have chosen the latter because I assumed that it is more logical to keep different sorts of vehicle costs together, but I am wondering whether, actually, from an accounting standpoint, what matters for grouping is whether the costs are fixed or variable, rather than the type of item to which they relate.

So, I should like some input. Should the new fixed vehicle upkeep costs go under "maintenance", or "operation costs"? And, subsidiary to that, should either of those categories be renamed to, for example, "fixed costs" and "variable costs" to make things clearer (with concomitant changes in the help texts)?

Offline dantedarkstar

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I voted Operation Costs, since it is very helpful for me to see how much I pay for vehicles, and how much for infrastructure. Lets you know where you have to keep expenses in check, and where you can cut loose.
The split based on per kilometer and fixed costs for all lumped together would be less informative I think. I would be always wondering how much of the "maintenance" is actually infrastructure and how much vehicles and which should I be careful with.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Dante,

if that is the case, do you think that it would be helpful to change the names to "Vehicle costs" and "Infrastructure costs"?

Offline dantedarkstar

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This may be indeed a good idea, since it eliminates all ambiguity about what exactly goes into the category. Provided of course that "fixed vehicle maintenance" as operational cost wins the poll :)

Offline tick tock

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I vote for putting it in Operations Costs.  However, I'd also like to suggest adding fixed monthly vehicle maintenance to the finance window in the manner that monthly infrastructure maintenance is currently shown (proposed in the following picture).


(image above will expire in 60 days)

I labeled the column as "Monthly Fixed Costs", but some other phrase might be preferred.

I like the suggestion to change Operations Costs to Vehicle Costs.  Changing Maintenance to Infrastructure Costs is probably good also, although it could be slightly confusing to beginning players since it's actually just infrastructure maintenance we're talking about and not other infrastructure expenses, such as the cost of laying track. 

James, if monthly vehicle maintenance does end up being put in Operations Costs, will you also reflect this in the Operations Costs chart in the Line Management window?



Offline Bernd Gabriel

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I support tick tock's idea  8)!

First I expected the fixed vehicle costs added to the maintenance in the finance window due to its name 'fixed_maintenance', but of course some more details in the finance window would be great.

And yes, Vehicle costs and Infrastructure costs would be clear and OK for me.

With these changes, I'd vote for "Operational Costs", else for "Maintenance".

Offline jamespetts gb

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As of 3.13, I have slightly modified the text on the buttons (in the English translation) to represent more clearly what each of the values represents. I have also added tooltips to all of the graph filter buttons in the finance window to give a clearer explanation of what everything means. As twice as many people supported having fixed vehicle maintenance in "operation costs" than "maintenance", I have left it there, but renamed it to "Veh. maintenance" ("Vehicle maintenance" would not fit in the space).