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Bus has multiple meanings

I've moved this section here from Talk:Key:access to make it possibly easier to find . The move was made in in January 2014, when there was again discussion (starting [here] about this on the tagging mailing list. This is also relevant to the psv=*, which relies on the definition of what "bus" means in OSM, in some contexts anyway. Alv (talk) 17:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

This was first discussed at Talk:Conditional_restrictions#bus_vs._tourist_bus. Apparently there are some countries, where one, or all traffic signs with the bus icon refer only to "buses used for public traffic", and other countries, where the icon always refers to all vehicles registered as a bus. The current explanation on this wiki stems from the history of Key:access, where we only had the explanation for "psv" for a long time, as in "taxis and buses acting as a public service vehicle". My point being, that the definition does not always match how the tags bus=yes/no are used, and other pages referring to their use and the traffic signs mentioned on other osm wiki pages. Some have introduced the tag tourist_bus=* for all other buses, and it seems to have some uses around the world; IMO that's not an exact word, unless the signs really read "tourist buses", since neither now includes privately operated buses, and public service buses when "not on line". The best way forward would probably be to find out what the tags really mean in each country with a significant number of uses to date. Hence, the table below. The IMO worst solution would be to allow somebody to enforce the stricter meaning globally, which would make editing unintuitive in many countries. Alv 13:07, 21 October 2012 (BST)

Country Buses only Buses allowed Psv buses allowed No buses allowed "No big vehicles" (except buses?)
Example signs Zeichen 245.svg Finland road sign 541a.svg Zusatzzeichen 1024-14.svg Zusatzzeichen 1026-32.svg Finland road sign 319.svg Zeichen 253 - Verbot für Kraftfahrzeuge mit einem zulässigen Gesamtgewicht, StVO 1992.svg
Vienna Convention lane for regular busses
local law may additionally
allow all busses, taxis...
Article 26bis
bus category[1] allowed
Annex I, section H, 4.
n/a - country specific
additional panel
NO ENTRY for bus category
Annex I, section C, II(c)
Annex I, section C, II(c)
Estonia lane for public transport vehicles Symbol refers to D-category (all buses)  ? D-category (all buses) forbidden no category C vehicles (trucks), mobile machinery and tractor traffic (buses not affected)
Finland all buses only (lane) all buses allowed n/a all buses forbidden no lorries or vans (buses not affected)
Germany psv buses only all buses allowed psv buses allowed unknown ([1]) no vehicles over 3.5t, except buses.
Netherlands all buses only all buses allowed  ?  ?  ?
Sweden "vehicles in line traffic and others" symbol refers to "buses", so all vehicles in line traffic allowed n/a no hgv's (by registration, normally over 3.5t), buses not affected
UK no buses [2]
  1. Not exactly defined, but the convention refers to a vehicle category and not the use (psv, tourist...). Thus the interpretation "all busses" may fit best.
  2. From this page: "No vehicles designed to carry more than 8 passengers (excluding driver) or local buses"
Many countries in the world (but not USA) have signed the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (see also wikipedia). I have done a little investigation how "standardized" the signs/meanings are. It is always possible that countries haven't fully/correctly implemented this convention, thus it does not replace the lookup in local regulations! Here the results:
  • Zeichen 253 - Verbot für Kraftfahrzeuge mit einem zulässigen Gesamtgewicht, StVO 1992.svg (optional with yellow ground or crossing red bar) literally means "NO ENTRY FOR GOODS VEHICLES" (Annex I, section C). Thus I would assume that busses are always exempted if a country has signed the convention.
  • Finland road sign 319.svg makes uses of the option to use non-predefined vehicle categories (Notification that entry is prohibited for a certain category of vehicle or road-user only, shall be given by a sign bearing as a symbol the silhouette of the vehicles or road-users). It is clearly the silhouette of the bus - and IMO it applies to all busses independent from their use (tourist, regular... - compare with discussions about argricultural vehicle vs. agricultural traffic). But the convention is a little unspecific here.
  • Zeichen 245.svg and also the rectangular variant CZ-IP20a Vyhrazený jízdní pruh.jpg are literally dedicated for indicating a "lane is reserved for regular public transport service vehicles" (). This is the minimum meaning, because the convention also allows Domestic legislation shall specify under what conditions other vehicles may use or go across the lane. Thus we sadly have no standardization here when it comes to tourist busses (they may be allowed, but you cannot assume it). Thus mappers may need different tags in different countries for the same sign and cannot blindely follow a road-sign to tag mapping.
  • Finland road sign 541a.svg is not included in the convention (only a round sign Zeichen 245.svg is allowed), thus they may have any meaning depending on the local law. Any tagging for these road signs belong IMO to country specific pages/sections.
--Martinq 19:16, 21 October 2012 (BST)
My proposal for cleaning up the situation with access: Separate "by-use" (PSV, tourist, regular bus) categories better from the "legal" vehicle categories [we did this in the past by distinguishing between agricultural traffic (by-use) and agricultural vehicle]:
  • Remove psv and tourist_bus from the vehicle category hierarchy
    • The definition of categories may be country specific, e.g. if vehicles exceeeding 8 or 12 seats are buses, if a van is a good vehicle (e.g. in GermanyFinland), etc.
    • bus then consistently means bus vehicle category, independent from use (tourist, etc.) and used for Zusatzzeichen 1024-14.svg or Finland road sign 319.svg (the bus 'silhouette' signs).
  • Define separate "by-use" tags outside the hierarchy (if needed with their own hierarchy, e.g. PSV)
    • The definitions may use vehicle categories (e.g. if every taxi vehicle, no matter if driven with passengers, is considered as PSV). They may also have its own country specific definition.
    • If Zeichen 245.svg must be tagged as bus (countries that extended the convention) or just with the by-use tag regular_bus (my ad-hoc invention), still depends on the country.
This way mappers can tag signs without worring about local details. A "no entry for bus (vehicles)" is tagged as bus=no, no matter in which country and if 8 or 12 seats are needed for a bus (and tag 8 or 12 seats...).--Martinq 21:23, 21 October 2012 (BST)
I like the proposal, since it makes the important bits of information easily taggable: "buses allowed" is highly important (for routing), "regular buses allowed" is barely relevant at all (a regular bus will use a pre-planned route, not a calculated-on-the-fly route). -- Eckhart 00:00, 22 October 2012 (BST)
I've tried to crosscheck some of the bus=no tagged ways, and so far:
  • Some cases of highway=footway + hgv=no + bus=no + car=no etc.
  • Most of the ones inside Germany are signposted with the Zeichen 253 - Verbot für Kraftfahrzeuge mit einem zulässigen Gesamtgewicht, StVO 1992.svg sign (wherever I could find a photo), and some way just have a maxweight=3.5 sign. I did however come across a "no buses" sign ([2]), which probably has the text "linienverkehr frei" under it; in osm that road has several bus route relations on it, and it's tagged as bus=no + psv=yes (in Bamberg).
  • The few examples in Belgium seem to have a sign equivalent to the Finland road sign 319.svg sign.
  • In the UK, there are cases of a textual "No coaches" sign, and some with the bus symbol on a white circular background and a blue outline(?) forcing(?) buses ("coaches" in a guidepost sign nearby) not to turn that way. One with a textual sign "Unsuitable for buses and coaches". From reading the legalese, it seems that also bus lanes allow all buses (vehicles for 8 or more passengers), and "local buses" no matter what the vehicle is, if it otherwise fits the long definition of a "local bus". Alv 17:18, 24 October 2012 (BST)


In Belgium, there are basically two types of bus lanes:

  1. Separated by a dash line: public transit buses + taxis are allowed at all times. Right-turning vehicles are allowed too. On a case by case basis one may allow bicycles and/or motorcycles.
  2. Separated by a thick continuous line: public transit buses. On a case by case basis one may allow taxis, bicycles and/or motorcycles (any imaginable combination).

In other words, whereas public buses are allowed on all bus lanes—regardless or not whether they are currently being operated on routes, deadhead trips to and from depots are okay—tourist buses are not. And taxis are allowed in some cases and other cases they aren’t. Those are reasons why it would be more convenient to abandon the "psv" category and use specific categories per type of vehicle. Bxl-forever (talk) 21:06, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Opposite lanes

I'm trying to insert a PSV opposite lane on C/Dr. Pi i Molist (Barcelona, Spain) because a lane designated for taxi/bus is, obviously, opposite to normal traffic, but I don't found this option except for busway. No errors reported on JOSM but it will be documented. Only I found the Key:lanes:psv wiki options, but it's more complex. Mustela (talk) 21:49, 21 February 2017 (UTC)