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IMMEDIATE MTA and NYCDOT Announce Expansion of Bus Lane Camera Enforcement

MTA Bus Company
Updated August 6, 2020 1:30 p.m.

Stationary Cameras Coming to Nine New Street Corridors Serving 77 Bus Routes Across the City

 

Bus-Mounted Cameras Coming to Three Busy Crosstown Routes in Manhattan 

 

Cameras Will Help Keep Dedicated Bus Lanes Clear, Reduce Commute Times for Hundreds of Thousands of Daily Riders 

 

60-Day Warning Period Will Commence on Monday, Aug. 10

 

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The Metropolitan Transportation (MTA) and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that stationary and bus-mounted cameras to enforce bus lane restrictions are coming to a host of new corridors and bus routes across the City, with a 60-day warning period beginning Monday, Aug. 10. With the announcement of the Better Buses Restart plan and new routes featuring bus-mounted cameras, the two agencies remain committed to increasing bus speeds with the help of automated camera enforcement of bus lanes. That enforcement is expected to help ensure that congestion is reduced and bus speeds and commute times are improved for riders.  

The nine new corridors where stationary cameras will be activated next week are: 

Manhattan: 

  • Lexington Avenue 
  • Fifth Avenue 
  • Third Avenue 
  • Madison Avenue 
  • 42nd Street 

Queens: 

  • Rockaway Beach Boulevard 
  • Broadway 

Brooklyn:  

  • Rockaway Parkway 
  • Fulton Street 

The nine corridors are traversed by 77 bus routes.

MTA bus-mounted cameras will be also activated on buses along three routes in Manhattan next week:

  • 23rd Street (M23)
  • 34th Street (M34)
  • 86th Street (M86)

Bus lane camera enforcement technology currently exists in all five boroughs, and expansion is planned for all five boroughs as well.  There are currently eight corridors in Manhattan, five corridors in Brooklyn, four corridors in Queens, three corridors in the Bronx and one corridor in Staten Island with bus lane camera enforcement.

"When buses can navigate city streets more easily, all New Yorkers win," said New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. "We're excited to work with our partners at DOT once again to reduce commute times and give thousands of bus riders a more congestion free commute." 

"The Mayor’s Better Buses plan is making sure more buses can move quickly and reliably in dedicated lanes – and automated camera enforcement is among the best ways to make that happen," said Polly Trottenberg, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner. "As we add nine new corridors, I am proud to stand with our partners at MTA, who have shown that improving bus service has clearly been a shared priority.  I also want to thank the state legislators who spearheaded the new law that allowed this unprecedented enforcement expansion. Together, we are making sure buses play a central role in moving New Yorkers in our city’s COVID-19 recovery."

“Well enforced bus priority is the key to increasing bus ridership. Automated camera enforcement is an essential tool in keeping bus lanes clear, because dedicated bus lanes alone do not work if motorists do not respect them or abide by traffic laws," said Craig Cipriano, MTA Bus Company President and NYC Transit Senior Vice President for Buses.  “So if you’re a motorist, consider this your warning: bus lanes are for buses, and our joint resolve with DOT to enforce the rules covers more city streets than ever before."

“We have a responsibility and an opportunity of running more buses on time so that New Yorkers who rely on them can go to their destinations faster and safer. These new cameras will ensure that drivers respect the dedicated bus lanes and avoid unnecessary delays,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, my colleagues, and advocates to ensure we continue expanding dedicated bus lanes into the outer-boroughs.”

"As a proud bus rider, I am pleased to see camera enforcement coming to additional bus routes in Manhattan, especially such heavy thoroughfares as 5th Avenue, Lexington Avenue, and Madison Avenue," said Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President. "These cameras will keep bus lanes clear and reduce bus trip times for hundreds of thousands of bus riders."

“Buses in New York City are moving hundreds of thousands of commuters every day, many of whom are critical essential workers who kept this city functioning during the worst global health crisis in over a hundred years,” said Liam Blank, Policy & Communications Manager for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “We commend the MTA and NYCDOT for expanding bus lane camera enforcement, clearing the way for a sustainable economic recovery and bringing long-awaited relief to thousands of daily bus riders.”

“Employing automated cameras to enforce bus-lane violations is a smart and highly effective way to keep the lanes clear, something that’s hugely important as more New Yorkers return to work. Speeding up bus commutes is critical in getting people to choose mass transit over private automobiles, and for helping the city’s frontline workers, many of whom depend on reliable bus service, to get where they need to go. Hundreds of thousands of straphangers will benefit as bus-mounted and fixed bus lane cameras are rolled out across New York City," said Eric McClure, Executive Director StreetsPAC.

“Improving bus service is a must during the COVID-19 emergency. Essential workers rely on buses to reach jobs at medical centers, warehouses, and grocery stores. With these bus lane cameras, riders will be able to get to work faster and more reliably, and New York’s transportation system will be in a stronger position for the recovery from the pandemic," said Ben Fried, Communications Director, TransitCenter.

"We are pleased that new bus lane cameras are being activated. After months of noticeable improvements in air quality due to fewer cars on the road, our city is already experiencing a sharp uptick in car traffic,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. While the MTA is dealing with an extreme budget deficit, local governments can take steps to make public transportation work better. Camera enforcement in bus lanes enhances service which will encourage more New Yorkers to use mass transit, helping to slash congestion, emissions and pollution. We thank the MTA and NYCDOT for their work to improve our bus system and look forward to continued improvements."

"Bus lanes are critical to keeping New Yorkers moving, especially as we see bus ridership increasing," said Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director. "Automated enforcement is a critical tool in keeping bus lanes clear. We applaud the Department of Transportation for making the expansion of bus lane cameras a priority."

Each bus lane corridor has signage indicating the hours that the bus lanes are operable, and that the lanes are camera-enforced. NYCDOT will issue warnings to motorists for 60 days, in accordance with state law, to ensure that drivers are informed about the program before any fines are imposed. After that, a single violation will cost $50, and increased fines will be added for repeat offenders. Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses. Issuance of violations for all these routes will begin on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. 

Since bus-mounted camera enforcement began last year, there have been improvements in M15 bus speeds on First and Second Avenues, with increases of up to 34% in some segments. The MTA’s bus-mounted cameras are also on the M14, B44 and B46 routes, where speeds have also increased as a result of the cameras.

Approximately 1.3 million violations have been issued from NYCDOT’s stationary bus lane cameras since the program’s inception in 2011. 37,518 violations and warnings have been issued from the MTA’s bus-mounted cameras since that program’s inception in October 2019.

Stationary or bus-mounted camera enforcement is already in effect on 21 different street corridors citywide. A law passed by the state legislature in 2019 eliminated the cap on all automated bus lane enforcement and created a new tiered fine structure: fines now begin at $50 and escalate for each fine in a 12-month period, up to $250. (Previously, all violations were $50.) Additional routes, with stationary and/or bus-mounted cameras will be added over time. NYCDOT also works with NYPD to enforce bus lanes citywide through traditional methods. The MTA is planning to expand bus-mounted cameras as part of the 2020-2024 Capital Program.