You are currently viewing What You need to know about Public Transport in Cities Skylines

What You need to know about Public Transport in Cities Skylines

Having good traffic flow is essential for the city building simulation game, Cities Skylines. Luckily, there are several ways to improve your traffic flow. One great way is using public transportation effectively. 

Public transportation allows the cims to get to where they need to without using their own cars. Less cars equal better traffic flow.

Psst… If you rather watch the video of this post, feel free to watch above. Otherwise, keep on reading.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read the Disclaimer to learn more!

Hierarchy in Public Transport for Cities Skylines

Need to know what type of transportation to use and when? Understanding the public transportation hierarchy will help greatly with Cities Skylines.

I use 3 tiers when describing the hierarchy. Small capacity, medium capacity and you guessed it, large capacity.

Small capacity transportation, like buses and trams are great for small distances. For example, you can have a bus route in a small residential area dropping cims off at local services, like schools and hospitals, parks, etc. 

Tram is considered low-capacity hierarchy.

Buses are great for transporting cims to other types of transportation or to a close COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL AREA. The cims do not go from one residential area to another residential area. 

Medium capacity is best used for medium distances. Metros are a great medium capacity transportation. I tend to use metros between residential and industrial or commercial depending on distance.

Large capacity transportation should be used on distances that are 2 tile maps long. Trains should be used in this situation. 

What types of transportation should you not use?

There are types of transportation that you shouldn’t use unless under certain circumstances. Blimps are a great example. 

Blimps are very slow. They are not very good for large demand transportation as you can see here. If you want to use them for the free education boost, place them in an area with low transportation demand.

Ferries are slow as well and should only be used if bridges are not feasible. (Which honestly, I cannot think of a situation. In fact, I only used them to complete a certain scenario and I felt bad for the cims because they had to cruise along on poop water. Ughh)

How to place lines to maximize Public Transportation in Cities Skylines

Keep in mind that cims do walk. In fact, according to Homer2101 on reddit, they will walk up to 128 units a day. Using this knowledge, they claim that it is ideal for the bus stops to be 50 units apart. (A unit is a cell on the grid.)

Cims walking through a park. Some are waiting for public transport in Cities Skylines.

Any more space will cause the cims to drive to where they want to go. Any less space will cause the transportation vehicles to clog up traffic.

If using long lines, make less stops. Longer lines increase the number of buses on that line.  Same goes for stops. More stops equals more buses. 

Do not put stops at major intersections. This will clog traffic. Use the smiley faces as  a guide for where to place the stops. 

If a route is carrying less than 50% of total capacity, reduce the number of vehicles and vice versa.

In order to do that, use the Vehicle count modifier on each line to adjust the number of vehicles. Watch, observe and make adjustments as needed. 

Observe routes during the day and during the night. According to a steam post I read, if using NIMBY, cut the line down to 50% at night. 

According to, you should only start a metro transportation service, if you have need for at least 4 metro stations. However, it is better to have 8 to 10 stations per line. 

Do not use metros in low density zones. Use them in the high-density zones instead. 

There are things you need to avoid when placing metro tunnels and lines. 

One thing to avoid is crossing 3 or more metro lines at a station. Another thing to avoid is having 2 or more lines using the same tunnel.   


Pin Me!!!!!

There wasn’t much information on trains. What I found was to make sure that passenger trains and cargo trains use separate tracks and avoid placing intersecting tracks. If you have any train tips, please share. Check out 7 things I wish I Knew about Cities Skylines and I will see you next time. 

Author's avatar

Amber Borden

Amber is an avid gamer. The first game she ever played was Super Mario Bros on the NES. She has seen many genres of videos games due to her 30 years of gaming. However, Amber typically sticks to RPGs, Sandbox and Simulation.
Since she loves gaming, her first job was at a Gamestop. Also, she has written guides for Gamefaqs. Amber was a full-time worker in the retail world, but now she is working as payroll. No matter what, however, she still plays her video games.