Proposed features/Loop

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Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Chuq
Tagging: *=loop
Applies to: node, relation
Definition: A ride-hail on demand public transport system operated on private roads

Drafted on: 2021-04-18


This proposal covers a number of elements which apply to the concept of a Loop system. The first such example of a system is the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop [1] [2], which connects three stations via two tunnels. A video of the entire route is available..

This proposal discusses tags for the ways (tunnels) and nodes (stations) - but also the route - which enables transit data on the network to be stored in OSM to allow for routing applications.

Note that while the term "Loop" was coined by the builder/operator (The Boring Company) it does not appear to be brand or trademark (except as part of another name, e.g. "LVCC Loop") appears to be used as a generic term. I raised the question elsewhere and someone else independently suggested the same term.


A Loop system effective uses a number of elements of existing transit systems but combines them in a way which is unique to existing transport options.

  • It is similar to a taxi or ride-share service, but it operates on private roads. The vehicles are standard road vehicles, but do not leave the loop system with passengers.
  • It is similar to a subway, except it uses many smaller cabins (cars) instead of a small number of larger cabins (trains). The cars are hailed with a ride-share app, and unlike a subway they take the passengers direct to the destination station.
  • The vehicles initially are manually driven but the intention is for them to be autonomous. They are currently standard Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X vehicles (4-6 capacity, plus driver) but there are 12 capacity vehicles in development.
  • There are already plans underway to expand this system throughout Las Vegas to hotels, the airport and stadium. Other cities are also developing or planning similar systems. So while knowledge of the system is based on the limited three station service recently launched - and this system will be the one used in the examples below - these tags will be applicable to many more systems in the future. It would be beneficial to define the structure of the required tags early so that incorrect tags are not used later.



Current tagging:

  • This is currently tagged as highway=bus_guideway. Although the name is confusing, it is the most technically accurate existing tag.
  • It is currently only mapped as a single tunnel, although technically it is two tunnels (each one lane wide, one for each direction)
  • Despite being tagged as tunnel=yes and layer=-2 it renders identically to a surface level bus guideway.
  • Should a new tag be preferred for consistency with the items below, highway=loop could be used.


  • The West and South stations are surface stations (in the existing car parks), the Central station is underground.
  • The stations are currently mapped as individual nodes. This could be updated (at least for the surface stations) once better satellite imagery is available.

Current tagging: (West station), (Central station), (South station)

  • These were tagged as public_transport=stop_position. I recently changed these to the more accurate public_transport=station as there are many stop positions within each station.
  • They could possibly be tagged a something similar to a "taxi rank", but the vehicles do not go on public roads - they only take passengers to other loop stations. This makes it more of a transit station than a taxi rank.
  • This does not render without an accompanying station=* value.
  • I propose station=loop as a new value.


  • The components of the route between stations should be identified as a relation so that transit through the system can be integrated with routing engines.
  • I propose route=loop as a new value.
  • This would also allow the Name Suggestion Index to be populated with Loop networks/operator details under /transit/route/loop (see existing 'transit' options here)



As noted above, the tag highway=bus_guideway renders identically whether the layer is surface or underground. If usage of this tag continues, ideally an alternate rendering for this tag would be created to reflect the layer=* value (in a similar style to other highways with underground sections)


Rendering for station=loop nodes would be similar to subway or train stations. Note they are currently not rendered due to the absence of any station=* value.

Features/Pages affected

The new items would listed on:

External discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.