New York MTA's ABLE Cameras
ABLE cameras capture drivers violating bus lane rules in real time and are aimed at deterring motorists from blocking these lanes to improve bus service and reduce crashes.
As part of the FY 2024 budget, the governor successfully secured the expansion of the ABLE program, to include more traffic violations and protect New Yorkers.
On Monday, Sept. 25, ABLE cameras will be activated on the B26 bus route serving riders in Brooklyn and Queens, marking the 20th activation of ABLE cameras across the city’s bus system and the fourth this year.
Average daily ridership on the B26 is 8,700, and the route carried 1.7 million riders by the end of 2022, a 12% increase from 2021.
“Millions of New Yorkers rely on our buses every day, and they deserve to ride in bus lanes that are safe and efficient,” Hochul said. “The continued expansion of ABLE will both protect riders and enable faster, more reliable service for New Yorkers to enjoy.”
Data Backs Up ABLE Camera's Effectiveness
Based on August 2023 data, the average speed on the B26 is 6.7 mph – 4% slower than the average Brooklyn local or limited route.
Since the implementation of ABLE along several bus routes in Brooklyn, average bus speeds in the borough have seen increases of around 5% and collisions with buses have decreased by nearly 20%, as most motorists who receive a notice or violation are unlikely to become repeat offenders.
Based on previous data collected, of all the drivers that have received at least one ABLE violation, only 8% have received three or more. This is indicative of ABLE cameras’ effectiveness in influencing driver behavior. Citywide,
ABLE cameras have led to over 313,000 violations being issued to motorists through the end of August.
With the activation on this route, the MTA will have 585 buses equipped with ABLE cameras on 20 routes across all five boroughs of New York City.
Locations were determined to maximize the length of bus lanes covered, balance distribution between boroughs, address some newer bus lanes and incorporate input from the MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) on known locations with issues.
Upon implementation of ABLE cameras on the B26, NYCDOT will issue warning notices to motorists for the first 60 days, in accordance with New York State law, to ensure drivers are informed about the program before any fines are levied.
Each bus lane corridor with ABLE camera coverage has signage indicating the hours that the bus lanes are operable and advises drivers that the lanes are camera-enforced.
Drivers who violate these rules during enforcement periods are subject to a summons, with fines beginning at $50 and escalating, for repeat offenders, up to $250.
ABLE camera systems capture license plate information, photos, and videos, together with location and timestamp information. This information is then transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing.
The program is administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the New York City Department of Finance.