Bus lane violation cameras to be installed on New York buses

Posted: 25 September 2019 |

The Better Buses Action Plan commits to increasing citywide bus speeds by 25 per cent by the end of 2020, in the hope that this will lead to ridership increases of the already 2 million daily bus trips in New York.

Bus lane violation cameras to be installed on New York buses

Starting October, MTA New York City Transit and New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) will use automated mobile camera systems on buses to capture real-time bus lane violations as part of citywide efforts to increase bus speeds and reduce congestion.

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 NYC DOT. ABLE camera systems can capture evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, as well location and timestamp information.

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 programme will be administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the NYC Department of Finance.

“Automated bus lane enforcement is a critical part of our plan to increase bus speeds, because transit priority improvements do not work if motorists do not respect their purpose or abide by traffic laws,” said MTA NYC Transit President, Andy Byford. “We need to give our buses every fighting chance to get through the city’s congested streets.”

“We hear from our customers all the time that buses get stuck in traffic because there are many vehicles on the streets blocking stops and moving lanes,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting MTA Bus Company President and Senior Vice President for Buses of NYC Transit. “This is why we are working with our city partners to find ways of prioritising buses and keeping streets clear so that everyone can move faster.”

Motorists who block bus lanes are first issued a warning with a 60-day grace period when no fines are assessed. After the grace period ends, motorists who continue to block bus lanes will be subject to a fine of for each violation, as well as late fees.

The automated bus lane enforcement programme plans to 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.

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 19 per cent on a portion of Fifth Avenue and by 30 per cent 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.