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Transportation

The Mundane Joys of Playing a Bus Simulator

In Bus Simulator 18, you’ll pick up passengers, dodge potholes, and avoid bankruptcy. Too real?
"Bus Simulator 18" doesn't shy away from the real logistics of running a bus.
"Bus Simulator 18" doesn't shy away from the real logistics of running a bus.Screenshot/Astragon

The humble bus doesn’t get enough credit for its role as the workhorse of public transportation. The same could be said of bus drivers. For one thing, they may very well have the answers for fixing America’s troubled transit systems. For another, have you ever tried driving a bus in the relentless traffic of cities like New York and Los Angeles?

I haven’t, but last week I did find myself in the driver’s seat of a decked-out, 34-foot Mercedes Citaro K in sunny Seaside Valley, with a woman enthusiastically guiding me on a test run of CityLab’s first—and probably last—bus service. To be clear: I was in the virtual driver’s seat of a virtual bus, in a made-up city with a very serious pothole problem.