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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 or polygon tagged public_transport=platform+bus=yes 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).

Bus stations are represented by using an area tagged with public_transport=station+bus=yes.

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

If you like your bus stops to render on the main page, tag them additionally with highway=bus_stop. This shouldn't be necessary, but alas.

Stopping positions and platforms

To map a bus stop more exactly one can additionally use a node on the way tagged public_transport=stop_position which represents the position where the bus stops on the main carriageway or in a bus_bay=*. 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 services (e.g., No. 38) are mapped by marking all elements that belong to a route on members of a relation. This includes all the road segments (ways) the bus runs along and the bus stops (nodes or sometimes polygons) the route serves.

Use one relation per direction (also called variant) of a service route, tagged with type=route+route=bus/route=trolleybus.

To hold the variant-relations together, another relation is used with type=route_master+route_master=bus/route_master=trolleybus. It only contains the variant-relations and 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=* (or bus_bay=*) scheme which indicates the presence of at least one bus lane (or bay) on one or more sides of the road, and the 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.

For dedicated, separate bus tracks, use highway=service, access=no, psv=designated (or psv=yes). Example

Bus maps

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

Bus routes by country

See Category:Bus routes by country.
See also Category:Public transport by country.

See also



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