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Public-images-osm logo.svg public_transport = station
Paddington Station.jpg
A station is an area designed to access public transport. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: public transport
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal

The public_transport=station tag is used to identify a railway station, a bus station or any other kind of a public transport station. It will almost certainly be part of a public_transport=stop_area relation which will contain a number of public_transport=platforms, public_transport=stop_positions and other elements. It was approved as part of the Proposed features/Public Transport proposal in April 2011.

While the tag railway=station is used for all railway stations (i.e. including cargo), the public_transport=station tag is used only on the stations interesting for passenger transport. In contrast, amenity=bus_station is a more common and more specific tag for bus stations. amenity=ferry_terminal is a much more commonly used tag specific for ferry terminals, and aerialway=station is used for aerialway=* stations on chairlifts, gonolas and similar.


Not all groupings of platforms and stop_positions are associated with a station.

A station will normally have some, but not all of the following attributes:

  • Have a physical presence consisting of a building or other structure allowing its extent to be easily recognized and provide some protection from the weather.
  • Have a number of platforms and stop positions organised in a structured way possibly with a central concourse area.
  • Not be part of the road network with limited access for private motorcars.
  • Have amenities for waiting passengers including shops, vending machines and information services and possibly car parking - either short term or long term.
  • Have a generally known name (xxx railway station, yyy bus station, zzz airport).


The station itself is mapped as an area, usually covering the outline described above, including amenities located inside the dedicated area. If the station is completely (or most of it) inside a station building, the building is the outline. If the station is not fully or mostly covered by a building, any existing buildings should be mapped at their place inside the station outline.

If a station outline is not known, the station can be mapped as a node, leaving the details to others.

Please note that more than one station can be member of one and the same stop area. Conversely, it can happen that one station belongs to more than one stop area - if the station contains stop areas (or parts of these) with different attributes, such as different networks.

Key Value Comment Recommendation
public_transport station Defines the station as such. Mandatory.
amenity bus_station Defines the station as a bus station. Optional.
railway station Defines the station as a railway station. Optional.
name Individual name The name by which the station is known. Recommended.
area yes / no If the station outline is an area and not a building. Required if yes, else optional.
building yes / no If the station outline happens to be the main outline of the station building. Required if yes, else optional.
operator Operator Name of the company that operates the station building/area. Optional.
network Local / regional network Name of the network the station belongs to. Optional.
covered yes / no For stations under the surface. This does not replace a correct layer key. Recommended if yes, but not needed if there is a specific structure (other than a general landuse classification) on a higher layer covering the whole station.

See also