|highway = busway
|A dedicated roadway for bus rapid transit systems.
|Used on these elements
|Tools for this tag
Bus rapid transit (BRT), also called a busway or transitway, is apublic transport system using dedicated roadways for buses. Busways give priority to buses at intersections where buses may interact with other traffic. These systems have design features which reduce caused by passengers boarding or leaving buses, or purchasing fares.
Sometimes, these roadways are referred to as "fixed guideways" by government agencies but should not be confused with guided busways, which use rail-like guides or tracks rather than ordinary paved roads. Additionally, this tagging does not apply to painted bus lanes on public roads or transit malls, even though they are also commonly referred to as busways.
The tag highway=busway should be applied to carriageways that maintain a high level of importance specifically for bus passengers, but are not meant to be used by motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists. In other words, this tag should only apply to roadways used for passenger transport.
How to map
Tags used in combination
|Name of the busway (if applicable)
|Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway
|Name of the operator (if known)
|Port Authority of Allegheny County
|If a busway shares a right of way with a (former or current) rail line.
|For busways used by trolley-buses
|Whether a section of busway contains a bus bay.
Use highway=busway also for link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from the main carriageway, as well as for "channelised" (physically separated by an obstruction) at-grade turning lanes connecting the through carriageways/through lanes of the busway to other minor roadways. The table illustrates which highway=* is to be used when mapping link roads connecting to busways. Do not apply highway=busway to any bus-only link roads that does not actually connect to the carriageway of any busway corridors.
|The link between will be tagged as:
Rendering in OsmAnd (the lavender Maxisweg).
The standard OSM Carto style does not render this tag. Two pull requests have been contributed — one in September 2021, and one in October 2022 — but none of the Carto maintainers have been found willing to either apply one of these or provide an alternative.
Compare OSM Carto and Apache Baremaps:
Compare OSM Carto and OpenStreetMap Americana:
|Correct tagging scheme
|Bus-only service roads
|A short service road that leads away from the main carriageway to a bus system administration, operations facility (e.g., bus terminal, bus garage, etc.).
|highway=service + access=no + bus=yes
|Bus-only motorway links
|These are motorway sliproads/ramps that are designated for buses only. Sometimes, they feed directly into an enclosed bus station.
|Any section of bus-only roadway that connects to any regular traffic road should be tagged with highway=motorway_link + access=no + bus=designated.
|Physically-separated bus bypass lanes
|These are short stretches of bus-only roadway at intersections that allow buses priority through an intersection before re-entering general traffic.
|To determine the correct value of highway=*, consult the lookup table for link roads between different highways types. Apply bus=yes in addition to any other appropriate access tag.
|Also often referred to as a busway, a transit mall is a street, or set of streets, in a city or town along which automobile traffic is prohibited or greatly restricted and only public transit vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians are permitted.These types of roads may experience high levels of conflict between pedestrian/bike traffic, and bus traffic.
|highway=unclassified (or a similar tag) and bus=designated are required.
If a road requires motor vehicles to turn right at the next intersection, use turn restrictions.
If the restrictions on motor vehicles only applies during certain hours of the day, use conditional restrictions.
|Physically-separated bus bays
|Bus bays are areas outside the main carriageways for buses to pick up and drop off passengers. Some bus bays are physically separated from the road.
|highway=service + bus_bay=*
|Painted bus lanes
|These are bus lanes that are not physically separated from general traffic.
|Please consult Key:busway and bus lanes.
|These are physically separated sections of roads on motorways where motor vehicles must contain a minimum number occupancy in order to be allowed access. Sometimes, buses are routed onto these roads.
|Please consult Key:hov.