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Logo. Feature : Buses
One example for Feature : Buses
A form of public transport
The bus route relation 36052 example(marked in blue) where all bus stops are not part of ways, but beside the way. This bus route is inside London and its bus number is 12.

Buses, coaches and trolley buses are forms of public transport that operate mainly on the road network. The system consists of bus routes calling at bus stops and bus stations and have a number of related features.

Stops and bus stations

The simplest way to map bus stops is using a node tagged highway=bus_stop beside the highway at the point where passengers would wait immediately prior to boarding the vehicle. This may be in a suitably positioned bus shelter, or by the bus stop pole. It might be a few meters from the point where one enters the vehicle. Add the name of the stop (as it appears on the stop, or on a timetable).

To map a bus stop more exactly one can also use a node on the way tagged public_transport=stop_position which represents the position where the bus stops on the road. The node is even mapped on the way when the bus stops in a bus bay. To represent the place where the people are waiting for the bus on the platform one can use the tag public_transport=platform on a way or an area. If there only exists a pole the tag public_transport=platform represents the place of the pole. To combine the stop position and the platform to one bus stop, a relation public_transport=stop_area is used. This relation contains all the information about the stop like name, references, operator and network.

Bus stations are tagged using an area tagged public_transport=station.

Other elements such as amenity=bench can be created in the vicinity of a bus stop or within a bus station.


Bus services (e.g., No. 38) are mapped by making the ways (roads) that the bus runs on members of a relation. In earlier days there was only one relation used for both directions and all variants.

Actually (since the approval of the Public Transport Schema) one should use one relation per direction/variant tagged with type=route+route=bus/route=trolleybus, because there are plenty of examples where one direction is not equal to the other or where different variants exist.

To hold the direction- and variant-relations there is used a type=route_master+route_master=bus/route_master=trolleybus that contains all the directions and variants and the information that is relevant for the whole service like ref=38.

Öpnvkarte.de (or openbusmap.org) shows bus routes, as well as rail and tram e.g. here in Köln

To identify a bus service as part of a bus network, use an operator=* and/or a network=* tag.

Bus lanes and tracks

Main article: Bus lanes

Buses generally run on normal highway=*[1] roads, but sometimes have special provision made for them.

There are two schemas in common use in OpenStreetMap for representing bus lanes on normal roads: the busway=* scheme which indicates the presence of at least one bus lane on one or more sides of the road, and the Key:lanes:psv scheme which provides a count of lanes reserved for public service vehicles (which include buses) and their directions. Both schemes are compatible with cycleways. Both can be used at the same time; for more information see Bus lanes.

The two commonly used schemas suffice for most maps. However lane-specific information applicable to bus lanes can be captured too with the advanced :lanes suffix.

It is useful to provide access=* and maxheight=* tags for ways which include bus lanes, where appropriate. For Trolley buses the wires should be included using trolley_wire=yes.

Stopping positions and platforms

In order to make providing bus routing services easier, there is approved Public Transport proposal.

Bus maps

The following sites render bus routes (based on relations data)

Buses by city






Czech Republic
















The Netherlands


  • İstanbul (İETT/İstanbul Electrics, Tunnel and Trams)
  • İzmir (ESHOT and İZULAŞ)
  • Some intercity lines of somebodies

United Kingdom

United States



  1. any type of motor car roads in the class "highway" like primary/secondary/tertiary/unclassified/residential/etc.