MTA New York City Transit announced that the fines associated with bus lane violations captured using a new automated bus-mounted camera system will be subject to a new graduated fee structure starting at $50 and going up to $250 for repeat bus blockers. Cameras mounted on buses serving the M15 Select Bus Service route will begin capturing real-time violations starting October 7.
NYC Transit is using an Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) system on 51 buses that travel on the M15 SBS route using a dedicated bus lane implemented by the New York City Department of Transportation.
- ABLE camera systems can capture evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, as well location and timestamp information, of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document clear cases of bus lane violation.
- The system collects multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed.
- This information will be transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing, and the program will be administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the NYC Department of Finance.
Motorists who block bus lanes during the initial 60-day grace period are issued a warning, which does not carry a fine. After the grace period ends, motorists who continue to block bus lanes will be subject to a fine of $50 for the first violation, and for additional violations within a 12-month period: $100 for a second offense, $150 for a third offense, $200 for a fourth offense; and $250 for a fifth violation and each subsequent offense thereafter within a 12-month period. Each violation also carries a $25 late fee.
The automated bus lane enforcement program will expand to the B44 SBS and M14 SBS by the end of November, with the ABLE system to be deployed on a total of 123 buses across the three routes. The proposed 2020-2024 Capital Plan includes $85 million for further expansion of the program.
NYC Transit is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to increase bus lane enforcement in highly congested areas as part of NYC Transit’s Fast Forward plan to improve bus service, increase bus speeds and attract new ridership. Results so far have yielded faster bus speeds by as much as 19% on a portion of Fifth Avenue and as much as 30% near the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel’s Manhattan approach.
Other strategies include redesigning every borough’s bus network to better meet customer needs, installing traffic signal priority technology, implementing more transit priority street designs, and deploying new modern buses with better reliability and customer amenities.