In Simutrans-Standard, the revenue is calculated based on the type of goods transported, the quantity of the goods transported, the distance, and the maximum achievable speed of the convoy (taking into account the speed limits of the individual vehicles and the ways (roads, rails, canals, etc.) over which they pass) in which they were transported relative to a set list of speeds for transport networks of that type set in a file named speedbonus.tab. Those numbers generally increase with time. The revenue is calculated for all passengers and goods at every intermediate stop ("hop") whether or not those goods board or alight there. In more recent versions of Simutrans-Standard, the revenue is limited to the proportion of the total distance to the destination that the journey gets the goods or passengers nearer, which can result in negative revenue in some cases. (Until version 111.0, this bonus was based just on the maximum speed of the slowest vehicle in the convoy).
In Simutrans-Extended, the revenue is based on the type of goods transported, the quantity transported, the distance, the average speed of the line or convoy on which they were transported, and, for passengers, the comfort of the means of transport. The extent to which passengers or goods find speed important increases with the distance that they travel, and likewise for comfort. Thus, passengers are content with a slow, uncomfortable city 'bus for short journeys of a few minutes, but will not tolerate it for longer journeys of hours (and will pay less revenue in consequence). The total revenue is calculated at the end of each journey leg: in consequence, it is easier to see where the profit is being made. Furthermore, it is possible to have catering or travelling post office vehicles that further increase the revenue on longer (but not shorter) distance journeys, the extent to which they increase the revenue varying with the length of the journey. Passenger revenue is adversely affected by overcrowded stations.
Note that, although some aspects of the revenue system can be customised in simuconf.tab (including a speed bonus multiplier which can be used to make speedbonus.conf tab files designed for Simutrans-Standard work better with Simutrans-Extended(the recommended setting is 45%)), and the same speedbonus.tab file is used to set the expected average speeds, the game cannot be reverted to the behaviour of Simutrans-Standard by altering settings in configuration files.
The aim of this feature is to make the calculation of revenue more realistic and intuitive: the revenue now depends on the actual speed of vehicles, not their theoretical maximum speed. Comfort is also a factor. Another aim is to provide more incentive to players to use a greater variety of vehicles, and to pick the right vehicle for the right job. No longer will it always be more profitable to use the fastest vehicle for every kind of transportation. Beginner players' heuristic judgments about what sort of vehicle is right for any particular sort of work, made without reference to the detailed rules of the game, should be right more often. Local transportation should be more profitable than it is in Simutrans-Standard.
In Simutrans-Standard, it used to be the case that a player could go overdrawn by any amount, but a player would go bankrupt if that player's debts exceed her/his/its net wealth at the end of any given month. Going bankrupt in a single player game in Simutrans entails a message dialogue being presented saying "You are bankrupt!", and the option to start a new game appearing in a single player game. If the player chose to cancel that dialogue box, he/she could continue playing despite being bankrupt. In a multi-player online game, the insolvent company will be liquidated automatically. However, in more recent versions, this now works in a very similar way to how it works in Simutrans-Extended (see below).
In Simutrans-Extended, each player has a credit limit. A player can go into debt up to the credit limit. Beyond that, the player cannot spend on any new capital items (such as buying new vehicles, or building transport infrastructure), but can continue to become more indebted meeting ordinary running costs. Interest on that debt will accrue at 10% per month, compound. There is an option to disable insolvency/liquidation. The credit limit is based on the player's assets and recent profitability. The credit limit and interest repayments are shown as graphs in the finances window. The credit limit does not apply to the public service player. Additionally, a positive bank balance attracts a credit interest rate of one quarter of the debit interest rate. There is a separate "solvency limit", which determines when a player becomes insolvent, which is calculated in the same way as the credit limit beyond which a player cannot borrow further, but is more generous in amount.
Note that the interest rate, whether players can go bankrupt, and whether players can spend money beyond their credit limit can all be customised in simuconf.tab.
The aim of this feature is to make it easier for players to understand what happens when they go into debt, and make the game more satisfying by removing the difficult choice between giving up a developed game when a player goes bankrupt, or, in effect, cheating, and ignoring the bankruptcy dialogue, and automatically providing a middle course, as well as more accurately to simulate the cost of capital.