Retagging the OC streetcar as tram instead of light rail

Hi, I would like to see the OC streetcar tagged as a tram instead of light rail. The wiki recommends asking here first. It is currently under construcion in Orange county, a county in the greater urban area of Los Angeles.

Resons for why it is a tram:

  • it calls itself streetcar
  • there is low level boarding, no high platforms
  • cars are not going to be coupled
  • except for the segment along a former railway ROW there has been no effort towards grade seperation
  • further segments that don’t go along that ROW would likely be streetrunning as well, reducing the share of seperated rails even further
  • lanes with tracks are used by cars as well

This would also greatly help distinguishing it from the LA Metro light rail, which operates in about the same area, but has almost no streetrunning, high platform boarding, subway segments, elevated sections and runs three car trains. It is currently tagged the same as the OC Streetcar, as light rail.

OC Streetcar rendering

La Metro light rail

I hope I’m in the right place here, most stuff seems to be about general worldwide tagging recommendations, not changing single objects, but I can’t find anything where it would fit better.


For me it looks like a tram, but unfamiliar with area.

Have you tried to contact person who originally mapped it? (In such cases I would usually comment on their changeset and wait a week or two - and edit if they agreed or never responded, creating thread in case of one or more mappers disagreeing)

1 Like

I map rail in California (extensively!) and I entered this in our wiki [1] with “Light Rail or Tram?” asking that exact question (mark) for some future date, which has now arrived.

I agree that it is more tram-like and the distinction from Los Angeles County’s prevailing light_rail tagging being nearby yet quite distinct from this is another important consideration. But overwhelmingly, I think there is wide consensus that Orange County’s OC Streetcar can be tagged tram.

As a primary author of that wiki, I wholeheartedly encourage you to update it yourself as you make this change in our map data tags. (Delete the ? after Tram and delete Light Rail, too). Thanks in advance!

Edit: Next steps would be to flesh out stops and public_transport route relations.

[1] California/Railroads/Passenger - OpenStreetMap Wiki


Thank you, I haven’t see that wiki page yet.

I will change it to tram and see what I can do about the wiki and relations, especially without adding relations that could make it seem as already opened.

Since you can see most of the tracks on the Esri images now I will try to smooth out the slignment and add missing stuff, too.
There have been some really rough guesses, eg. the maintanace facility is on the wrong lot


I also do some transit mapping in greater Los Angeles, and I think your points re: differentiating the OC streetcar from Metro’s light rail is a good one. I have no problem with you retagging it as tram. I’ll share your post on OSMUS Slack too to invite others to discuss it here, or you’re welcome to join that forum as well if you so desire.