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Public-images-osm logo.svg route_master
Osm element relation.svg
Contains all direction/variant routes of a public transport line Edit or translate this description.
Group: Public transport
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

Relations of type route_master contain all the direction and variant routes and the information that belongs to the whole service.

A route/service is represented by vehicles that always run the same way with the same reference number. Each direction of a route should be tagged as a separate Route relation. If a route has several variants (e.g. different way at weekend), these variants should also be in separate relations.


A route master contains all the important information that belongs to the line.

Key Value Comment Recommendation
type route_master Declares relation to be a route_master. ! Required
route_master aerialway / bus / ferry / monorail / subway / train / tram / trolleybus Defines the route_master as train, subway, monorail, tram, bus, trolleybus, aerialway, or ferry. ! Required
ref Reference as text. The reference by which the service or route is known. ! Required
ref:<qualifier> <qualifier> is a name as text.

The value is the reference as text.

The reference by which an operator or network, specified by <qualifier>, refers to the route or service.  Important, where the service changes the reference number when crossing the network's border.
name <vehicle type> <reference number> as text. Short prose description of route master. <vehicle type> should be as in route_master=*. For example, Bus 201.  Important
operator Operator's name as text. Name of the entity that operates the service. ! Required, where available.
network Network name as text. Name of the local or regional network to which the route belongs. ! Required, where available.
colour CSS colour name, or #<red><green><blue>, each component 2 hexadecimal digits. Colour by which the route or service is identified on signage, maps, etc.  Important, where available.

Other useful tags

NB: These tags can belong to the route_master relation and/or its route relations. To ease maintenance, please avoid duplication if you can.

Key Value Comment Recommendation
tourism yes / only If it is a touristic service.  Important, where appropriate.
school yes / only If it is a scholar service.  Important, where appropriate.
wheelchair yes / no / limited  Important
opening_hours The service hours of the line. ? Optional

Only for public transport route_master.

interval The time between arrivals of any stop along the public transport route. Use HHːMMːSS, HːMMːSS, HHːMM, HːMM, MM, or M format. ? Optional

Only for public transport route_master relations.

Use this tag only if all variants have the same interval.


All the variants/directions of a route/service are members of this master relation.

Element Role Recurrence? Description
relation <empty> ! 1; at least 2, usually. All route variant/directions.


Number Relation Tags Description
Bus 201 relation 1244886 relation type=route_master + route_master=bus A bus line.
Métro 3 relation 7733214 relation type=route_master + route_master=subway A subway line.

See also