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Many articles already exist about public transportation. Public transportation is generally a very notable topic. As always, reliable sources must be provided for all information.
Rapid transit usually exists only in major cities (with populations of at least several hundred thousand), and regional rail only exists when two or more such cities are found in relatively close proximity, or when the outlying suburbs of a major city go quite far from the city itself. Given these facts, it is likely that all lines of rapid transit and regional rail are notable.
The question of whether to create a single article on an entire rail system, an article on each line, or an article on multiple lines identified as separate lines but sharing a single track for much of their route depends on how much sourced information can be provided, and therefore whether it is more suitable to have one article or more.
Like railroads, individual stations are generally notable. The amount of information on each station varies. For some, several pages worth of text can be written. For others, there is only the most basic information available, such as the location, the amount of parking, and the services to which a transfer is available.
When only minimal information is available on all or most stations on a line, this should be provided on a List of _______ rail stations in chart form, which can be placed into the article on the line if the two combined are short enough. When more information becomes available, this could be expanded into individual articles.
When sizeable articles have been created on most of the stations in a system, articles can be created on the remaining ones, which can be marked as stubs. There are many stubs templates available for rail stations in various geographic locations.
When multiple rail lines, even on a different type of rail, meet at a single location, it is preferable to have a single article for all lines.
Template:Infobox Station should be used on all articles about rapid transit and regional rail stations.
Many cities, towns, and other jurisdictions around the world have agencies that operate one or more bus routes, and sometimes rail services as well. Some are operated by the local government and are tax-subsidized; others are privately owned and may be either non-profit or for-profit. The number of routes also vary. Some have just a few; others have hundreds.
Bus services in themselves are notable. The majority of agencies providing public transport services, though local, are worthy of mention in one or more articles. Articles on bus service may list the agency's bus routes, either with headings or in chart form (preferred), and this can be sourced from the agency's own site, which is most likely to provide accurate information. This should be written in a fashion to provide encyclopedic information that is not directory-like, as the agency's own site can provide that. However, external links can be provided to the agency's site and maps and schedules of its individual routes.
In a small town where only a handful of bus routes exist, and a very small amount of information can be written, it would be more appropriate to write about them in a "transportation" section of the article on the town rather than in a standalone article.
Template:Infobox Bus transit can be used to provide basic information about the agency.
In most transit systems, bus routes are not notable enough to have standalone articles. Particularly, in smaller systems with fewer than 20 routes (though there is no exact number for any standard), it is unlikely that any will be notable enough to have a standalone article. Even if there is plenty of sourced information about one of the system's routes, it can usually be mentioned within the article on the system.
For a larger system in a major city (often with 50 or more routes, though there is no exact number for any standard), it is not uncommon to find plenty of sourced information on many of the city's bus routes. This may range from news articles on routing controversies, to books about the history of the city's streetcar system (since many urban areas had streetcars in the past that have since been replaced with buses).
For smaller transit agencies, the standard method of describing bus routes is to list them within the article on the operating agency, preferably in chart form, with the chart providing the most basic information. For longer lists of routes, they may be listed on a separate page titled "List of _______ bus routes." While the chart form may be used, an alternative is to have a heading for each route, under which a short description is provided.
Writing articles on individual bus routes is acceptable when:
- There is enough information on each page to write a sizeable article
- Writing the article(s) together or within other articles would exceed article size guidelines
- The information is properly referenced with reliable sources, thereby establishing notability. The transit agency's own site can be used to source some of the article's information once notability has been established.
- The information provided in the articles meets the inclusion guidelines below
Articles on bus routes may require frequent updates, as their routes and schedules often change.
Currently, very few cities around the world have comprehensive articles on all or most of the routes in their bus systems. The city of London has the most (see List of bus routes in London). In the United States, the city of Baltimore has the most (see List of MTA Maryland bus routes). But such articles in other cities are growing, and there is a potential for more bus route articles in the future that meet Wikipedia's inclusion guidelines.
What to include
Information that can be written in bus route articles includes, but is not limited to:
- The route's basic description: Includes its ends, special branches, notable (blue-linked) areas and landmarks served, major streets on which it operates.
- History of the route, dating back to its origin, and any changes the route has undergone.
- Routing controversies, such as proposals to extend the route into a new community, cutbacks in service, or changes that inconvenienced some.
- Appearances in popular culture (such as books, movies, or TV shows, or sourced use by notable people), though this alone does not establish notability
- A photo of a bus on the route, clearly displaying that the bus is exactly from that route
It is strongly recommended to create a navbox (if one does not already exist) displaying all the routes in the system in alphabetical/numerical order. The navbox should also display all other articles relating to the system.
Infobox bus line can be used to provide basic information within the article.
What not to include
In accordance with various WP:NOT guidelines, the following information should not be included in bus route articles:
- The bus schedule (timetable). An external link can be provided to this, though it may require periodic updates.
- The exact route description in full detail. Only include important details of the route description that relate to the sourced information.
- A list of stops along the route.
Where to find sources
The best places to find sources beyond a basic web search are on Google News, Google Books, and Google Scholar, entering the name of the city or operating agency (or its parent companies), along with the word "bus" or "streetcar" and its route number, or the name of some of the major streets on which the route operates or the landmarks it serves.