Solving the service car mess

Currently I see two problems with service cars which even made me get rid of all remote stands:

  1. If you connect a service car stop to more than one stand and a car is waiting at the stop, other cars might line up behind it. Ramp agents can’t get on because the car is not at the service car stop yet and additionally the cars are blocking the roads.

  2. The bigger problem: Service cars only wait at the stop for a limited time and then leave towards the stand, no matter whether ramp agents are in the car already or not. As the game likes to assign ramp agents who are furthest away from the stands, it happens quite often that they arrive at the service car stop after the car has already left. No other car will pick them up anymore and they’ll wait indefinitely (or until you dismiss the aircraft which is not being serviced).

To solve these issues, I’d like to change the system to one I’ve seen at some airports (for example Beijing Capital Airport is using it): Service car shuttle routes.
Service cars won’t automatically be assigned to a flight and its corresponding service car stop anymore. Instead, the player can define a route containing any number of service car stops and remote stands. Additionally, you can define how many cars should service the shuttle route.
The cars will then just indefinitely circle along the route. At every stop/stand they will drop off / pick up waiting ramp agents just as they pass by. If a car is full, the remaining ramp agents have to wait for the next car on that route.
This way you wouldn’t even have to attach a service car stop to a stand anymore. Just make sure there’s any route servicing the stand and at least one service car stop; the pathfinding algorithm will then detect which stop it can use to get to the stand.
Although the system is pretty simple, we’d need a new screen to manage the service car shuttle routes (add, edit, delete).
At some point the game might introduce different sizes of service cars making it more interesting for the shuttle routes.

Players who still like to have a 1:1 connection between service car stop and stand can do it: Just define a route between a single stand and a single service car stop, serviced by one car.

Simple solution (?) for the devs:

  • Use the car parking lots for this task. Give them yellow linings. Now up to 7 cars can be serviced and staffed at once at one marginally bigger lot. This eliminates traffic congestion. Do the same for shuttle buses - this essentially creates a bus hub.
  • Delete old lots from game.
  • Assign 3 ramp agents to each service car as part of their duty - not to a remote stand - just like security officers man security desks. The agents will man the car and the car will be requested by the stands, deliver the agents, wait until finished and then move on the the next task queued. After shift limit, the car will return and the agents will go for a staff room to have a break.

I believe that the main problem lies in an unnecessary complicated relationship of job calls of two entities - agents AND the car itself, connected with path-finding issues. The car can reach the place of the job, the agents cannot, so extra path-finding required. In my model a service car will ‘demand’ 3 agents to be assigned to it while waiting on a service parking lot. Once this is met, the car will be available and called to its jobs.

This topic was automatically closed 31 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.