Madison, Wisconsin/Bus Routes Project

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The Madison bus route mapping project is a community effort to map the entire bus network of the Madison Metro using the OpenStreetMap platform.


To enable a person to decide if it is possible to use public transport to make their trip instead of a private vehicle. This can be achieved by providing offline information like printed maps/timitables as well as online services.

Why OpenStreetMap?

OSM is an ideal platform to use for building the public transport geographical dataset because:

  1. It's free and open source
  2. Already has established guidelines
  3. Availability of online and offline tools for collaborative contribution
  4. Freedom in mapping content
  5. Parallel development of the free Madison city map
  6. Quick updating of maps (~20min for osmarender)
  7. Powerful API, can also be used with the mapstraction common api library MapStractions
  8. Ability to create a custom service using collected data
  9. Above all, as the OSM project gains popularity, the number of contributors will rise exponentially making the data more dynamic and accurate

For a working example of the power of OSM data see:

Project tasks

The aim is to build a comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate public transport geographical dataset through a crowd-sourcing approach. This would involve the following different tasks which are divided into various sub-projects

Information Collection Phase

Bus Stops

  • Get latitude and longitude information for all existing bus stops (if possible)
  • Add more bus stops
  • For each bus stop, assign names, IDs, bench and shelter status, routes servicing the stop, and classify into major or minor bus stop
  • Identifying transit stations and inter modal interchange areas


  • Mapping the entire bus network roads
  • Classifying the roads based on bus frequency
  • Dividing bus route roads into segments (OSM)
  • Tagging roads segments with the routing information using Relation:route
  • Share terminal points
  • Identifying parking amenities at public transport centers (i.e. park and ride, etc.)


Please, signup:

How you can help

  1. Register with Openstreetmap
  2. Add your name to the participants list
  3. Expand/Maintain this wiki
  4. For general city mapping, check out the Madison project page
  5. Start mapping!
  6. If you have an opinion, don't keep it to yourself! Let it be heard on the discussion page

List of bus routes

Note: this is not an import, nor is it advocating the use of any published materials for inputting data.

Update this table as you work on Madison bus routes in the OSM database. When a route is completed (i.e. all the paths are added to the relation), denote this under Route completed. When all the stops associated with a route are added to the relation, mark this fact under Bus stops completed. Some bus routes may have multiple directions, and even directions may have multiple paths.

Route # Name Direction/Heading Relation Route completed Bus stops completed Notes
67 West Towne Mall Single direction/loop Relation 4562090 (XML, Potlatch2, iD, JOSM, history, analyze, manage, gpx) Yes No