Ireland/Public transport routes

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Relation modelling

Bus routes and other public transport are modelled as route relations in OSM.

That means the streets are free of any bus tagging, they are collected in the relation in the order of the route. Stops are collected in the same relation. If different bus routes serve the same stop, the stop is only mapped once, and added as member to the different relations. If there is a series of stops aligned along the road for different operators, they can be mapped separately of course.

There is some development in the way of tagging transport routes, the most advanced scheme is the Oxomoa scheme, which is the result of a major workshop. See also developent on this page: Public_Transport

Following that scheme initially means to create 2 separate relations for both directions (A to B, and B to A) of a public transport route.

Forward/Backward confusion

The usage of role names for relation members can be confusing at the start, as it is not what most people initially think it means.

For stops, forward/backward:stop: means that the stop is served on A to B as forward, and on B to A as backward. Easy.

For ways, the meaning is different, forward means here the bus travels in the same direction as the way (sequence of nodes), while backward means the route runs only against the direction of the way. In other words, it does NOT mean, Dublin-Cork is forward, and Cork-Dublin is backward. No. It means that the bus drives with the flow of the OSM-way, or against it.

Using two separate relation for A to B and B to A resolves the confusion slightly. If we create 2 separate relations, one for Dublin-Cork, the other for Cork-Dublin, we can ignore the forward/backward thing for a while and see later if it is really needed.

Route vs. Infrastructure

This becomes particularly interesting for railways. What is built on the grounds, the sleepers and the rails, are tagged as railway=rail, whether being used or not. Also, the node on the line tagged railway=station or railway=halt (small one) would be what has been built on the ground.

Taking the section of the rail into the route relation would define that the particular train serves it. Taking the node as a member into the route relation would define that the particular train connection stops there.

Tags relevant in Ireland

t.b.d. for specific things in the Oxo scheme.

Essential are (in the relation, not the individual elements), for example:

route = bus type = route name = Tramore - Waterford - Dublin Airport operator = JJ Kavanagh & Sons


Öpnvkarte renders the public transport routes. Click here for Ireland

Editors / JOSM:

Switch on relations in the left dock of buttons, the little gear wheel. In the relations menu in the right dock, click the "+ wheel" to create a new relation. The popup window shows you the currently selected item in OSM on the right hand side, you can click the arrow to make it a member. There are tools for inserting at different positions in the list, and for sorting.

Reverse direction

JOSM can create a copy of a relation, and within it reverse the order of the elements.

So we create the relation for one direction of the bus route, then copy and reverse for the other direction, and just fix the roads and stops that are different for the other direction.

List of public transport routes in Ireland

Bus Éireann

route ref ways nodes comments + user relation
Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork 7 70% 0% lacks the first part(Dublin-Kilkenny) and the bus stops --!i! 11:53, 9 April 2010 (UTC) relation 548769
Waterford, Cork, Killarney, Kerry Airport, Tralee 40 70% 0% lacks the first part(Waterford-Cork) and the bus stops --!i! 22:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558006
Tralee - Dingle 275 100% 0% lacks the bus stops --!i! 07:29, 17 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558152
Tralee - Limerick 14 100% 0% lacks the bus stops --!i! 10:09, 17 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558188
Limerick - 333 100% 0% lacks the bus stops --!i! 10:09, 17 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558189
- Galway 423 70% 0% lacks the first part before Kinvara and bus stops --!i! 12:58, 17 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558271
Galway - Dublin 20 100% 0% lacks bus stops --!i! 14:27, 17 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558313

Dublin Bus

 operator = Dublin Bus
route ref ways nodes comments + user relation
route 75 75 100% 100% Nick Burrett relation 405053

JJK - JJ Kavanagh and Sons

 operator = J.J. Kavanagh & Sons
route ref ways nodes comments + user relation
Tramore-Waterford-Dublin Airport (intercity) 100% 80% Polarbear relation 383470
Dublin Airport-Waterford-Tramore (intercity) 100% 80% Polarbear relation 405696
Newbridge to Kilcullen (Rapid Town Link) 100% 30% --EvilMonkey 19:19, 17 January 2011 (UTC) relation 1312766
Kilcullen to Newbridge (Rapid Town Link) 100% 0% --EvilMonkey 19:19, 17 January 2011 (UTC) relation 1312804

St. Kevins Bus Service

operator=St. Kevins Bus Service
route ref ways nodes comments + user relation
Glendalough 100% 20% only first/last busstop, unsure if there are regulare stops on the way --!i! 11:11, 9 April 2010 (UTC) relation 538020


route ref ways nodes comments + user relation
City Centre - Dublin Airport 201 70% 50% only from O'Connel,first/last busstop --!i! 11:11, 9 April 2010 (UTC) relation 558324
Greystones - Dublin Airport n/a 100% 100% Matze 18:47, 9 April 2012 (BST) relation 2124431
Dublin Airport - Greystones n/a 100% 100% Matze (talk) 11:17, 6 March 2013 (UTC) relation 2124887