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With regards to bus routes, what are the types of data which are made available for download. Is it possible to export a region's bus routes in open street map (OSM) or GIS data format?

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    This will depend heavily on the country/region/city. I can think of many places that probably have such things available, and many that probably don't... Ref. wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Buses – Erica Oct 7 '14 at 12:33
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For viewing bus routes you can take a look at OSM-based maps which visualize bus routes. The OSM wiki has a list of public transport maps, for example the transport layer at the front page or the Öpnvkarte.

For retrieving bus route data you can use the Overpass API or the nice frontend overpass turbo. Use this query for retrieving all bus routes in the currently visible area:

<osm-script output="json" timeout="25">
  <query type="relation">
    <has-kv k="route" v="bus"/>
    <bbox-query {{bbox}}/>
  </query>
  <print mode="body"/>
  <recurse type="down"/>
  <print mode="skeleton" order="quadtile"/>
</osm-script>
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These pages on the OSM Wiki will help you determine the necessary tags for the data you need:

Bus Stop, Stations, etc

Bus Routes

You can see what actual data is available in your area of interest by using the OSM Overpass Turbo Tool. Use the Wizard to create a subset of the available data using the tags described above

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