December 23, 2011
Posted by on
The proper use of toll booths allow for a significant amount of money to be made; their usage is fairly straightforward. Commuters usually travel from residential to industrial, or residential to commercial. Therefore, placement of toll booths on the correct route will yield financial returns at the expense of increasing commute times by a small margin.
The key here is to connect the residential and industrial zones by building a ground highway, ensuring this is the only route between the two districts. Next, place avenues at the ends of the highways, and connect them. Finally, place toll booths all along the ground highway. The same process may be followed with respect to residential and commercial zones. Then comes the amusing part: simply wait a few months (in-game), and check the city’s income. The income from tolls will be significant, as long as the commuters have to take that highway to work, they will pay a huge amount in tolls. A properly configured network will yield more money from tolls than one might make through residential taxes. Buses have to pay the tolls, as well, but as they are less likely to create congestion than cars, they can negotiate alternate routes (around the toll booth) more easily than cars. This is why proper set-up of the network is crucial; to ensure maximum profit, bus routes should be forced along the route with toll booths. If the highway becomes congested, simply build another one, set up the tolls, and connect it to the same avenue. Build bus stations to reduce congestion, and make more money at the same time.
It is preferable to use ground highways because they are inexpensive, and highway toll booths handle the most amount of commuters. Furthermore, commuters drive the fastest on highways, increasing the maximum volume of citizens that will be able to get to work. A good highway can have 8 tolls, which returns around $1.60/month for every car or bus passenger that needs to travel on that highway: on a tolled highway, commuters pay 10 cents on the way to work, and 10 cents on the way back. Toll booths cost $5 a month to maintain: once traffic levels increase to 50 cars/month, the cost is compensated for easily.
Despite these potential benefits, toll booths add up to the citizen’s commute time quickly. If the citizens have a commute time exceeding 100 minutes, they’ll start to lose their jobs, and leave town. While it is still possible get a reasonable amount of income, some structures may become abandoned. This isn’t a major problem on a small or medium map, but may potentially have far-reaching consequences on a regional scale.