You have to consider that it's about cities with several 100k inhabitants, so people just become statistics at this point, anyhow. What's the population limit of Tropico, 2000 or something? I think this "fake" simulation can work quite well, if they manage to fix the bugs and make it more logical.
If the Sims really are programmed to just travel to the nearest workplace/home, which seems to be the case, then that surely is a colossal design flaw rendering a supposed 'simulation' not fit for purpose.
If the game is designed around the AI (agents) working like that, then how deep will a patch need to go to fix it?