NEW YORK (PIX11) – Hundreds more MTA buses will soon be equipped with automated cameras to catch drivers violating bus lane rules throughout New York City.
By the end of 2022, automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras will be installed on 300 additional buses across nine different routes in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, according to the MTA.
The cameras capture license plates and timestamp information to catch drivers violating bus lane rules. The purpose of the cameras is to help reduce the number of illegal vehicles in bus lanes, which would help keep buses on schedule and maintain consistent service.
“Increasing bus speeds is a win for all New Yorkers, and bus lane cameras are an incredibly effective tool to keep lanes clear and change driver behavior,” New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro said in a statement. “We hear from our customers and Bus Operators all the time that buses get stuck in traffic due to vehicles blocking our lanes. So, if you’re a motorist, consider this your warning: bus lanes are for buses. Avoiding a ticket is easy, just stay out of the bus lane.”
Drivers who violate the bus lane rules are subject to a summons, with fines beginning at $50 and up to $250 for repeat offenders.
Bus lanes will have signs indicating the hours the lanes are operable, including a warning that the lanes are camera-enforced.
There are currently 123 MTA buses equipped with the cameras on seven routes in Brooklyn and Manhattan. With the additional cameras, the bus lane enforcement technology will now cover about 50% of bus lane miles across New York City.
The MTA plans to add 600 new cameras on buses by the end of 2023, which will expand camera enforcement technology to cover 85% of bus lanes in the city.
The first cameras from this latest batch will be equipped on the Q44 Select Bus Service route on Monday, followed by the S79 SBS, Bx12 SBS, Bx41 SBS, Bx19, Q43, B62, B25, and B42 routes by the end of the year.
“Improving the bus network must be at the top of the MTA agenda,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement. “We have made tremendous progress over the last few years with new strategies designed to speed up our buses, and now we are doubling down by using technology to clear out bus lanes so MTA buses can keep moving.”