Violators to Receive Summonses Beginning Friday, Dec. 2
Q43 and Bx19 Activate Cameras Today; Three Brooklyn Bus Routes Remain
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today advised that drivers who violate the Q44 SBS bus lane regulations will be issued summonses beginning Dec. 2. Since the activation of the Q44 SBS's automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras on Oct. 3, New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has been issuing warning notices to violators who block the bus lane. This warning period served as an opportunity to educate and remind drivers of bus lane regulations, a critical component in keeping buses moving and improving speeds.
Additionally, the Q43 and Bx19 activated its cameras today, beginning their 60-day warning period. Since the activation of the Q44 SBS, which was the first of nine bus routes announced in October to activate its ABLE cameras, five bus routes have recently installed and activated their cameras. See activation dates and respective end date for their warning periods:
- S79 SBS cameras activated on Oct. 31; violators to receive summonses beginning Friday, Dec. 30
- Bx12 SBS cameras activated on Nov. 18; violators to receive summonses beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17
- Bx41 SBS cameras activated on Nov. 18; violators to receive summonses beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17
- Q43 cameras activated on Nov. 28; violators to receive summonses beginning Friday, Jan. 27
- Bx19 cameras activated on Nov. 28; violators to receive summonses beginning Friday, Jan. 27
The Q44 SBS is among one of the busiest routes in the MTA bus network. Between Oct. 3 and Wednesday, Nov. 23, 3,325 warning notices were issued on the Q44 SBS bus lane, 3,325 instances of which the majority will not result in a repeated offense. Based on previous data collected, less than 8% of drivers receive more than two summonses for violating the rules of a bus lane. This is indicative of ABLE cameras’ effectiveness in influencing driver behavior.
Three Brooklyn routes remain, the B62, B25, and B42, which are all scheduled to be activated by the end of 2022. In total, 300 buses will be equipped with this bus lane enforcing technology to capture drivers violating busway and bus lane rules in real-time.
“As more and more bus lanes and busways are camera-enforced, we hope that drivers begin to change their way of thinking and avoid blocking a bus lane,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “New Yorkers need drivers to comply with bus lane rules regardless of whether they are camera enforced, so err on the side of caution and avoid a ticket.”
“Providing a dedicated space for buses to run is a critical step in improving bus speeds along some of the busiest corridors,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Enforcing its rules is the other. These bus mounted cameras automate the summons issuing process at a much more efficient rate, reaching more motorists, and ultimately educating more drivers to abide by bus lane rules.”
“Clear lanes mean faster trips and more consistent service delivery,” said New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro. “Blocking a bus lane not only obstructs a bus’s ability to move but can also impede a passenger's ability of boarding a bus. Deployment of ABLE cameras are instrumental in helping us deliver better bus service.”
“Bus lanes are for buses, period. Automated camera enforcement is a critical tool in keeping our bus lanes clear, providing faster and more reliable commutes for New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “As the agency that created, revitalized and made permanent the Main Street Busway in support of bus riders on the Q44 SBS and other routes in Downtown Flushing, DOT is thrilled to support the MTA’s continued expansion of bus-mounted cameras as part of our close collaboration to improve bus service across the city.”
"Dedicated bus lanes are important tools for improving the speed and reliability of bus service, but they work only if other drivers obey the law and stay out of these lanes," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "The deployment of ABLE cameras will help ensure bus lane regulations are obeyed and that bus riders enjoy fast and smooth service. I encourage all motorists to respect the bus lanes so that all who use our roadways can get to our destinations quickly and safely."
“The ABLE program is essential to improving speed and reliability for MTA bus service throughout New York City, which will encourage increased ridership, and reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions from private cars,” said Senator Kreuger. “I welcome the continued expansion of this program as part of the MTA’s efforts to improve service throughout the public transportation system.”
“Ultimately, this action was primarily established to prevent vehicles from impeding the busway lanes and for buses to run on a timely manner,” said Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman. “I stand behind this warning one hundred percent because passengers want to reach their destinations safely and on time. Bus drivers must also be able to operate their buses without any hinderances due to vehicles driving in the bus lane or double parking. With the installation of Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) cameras, the necessary penalties will be enforced if drivers fail to acknowledge the initiatives that are in place, as well as the safety of pedestrians and their fellow drivers.”
ABLE cameras are an essential tool to keep bus lanes clear of vehicles and buses on schedule for more consistent and reliable service. By the end of the year, the bus enforcement technology will be expanded to all boroughs and cover approximately 50% of bus lane miles across the city. The MTA and New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have agreed to expand camera enforcement to cover up to 85% of existing bus lanes by the end of 2023. NYCDOT’s fixed cameras will work in concert with these bus cameras to reduce the number of illegal cars and other vehicles in bus lanes.
Each bus lane corridor will have signage indicating the hours that the bus lanes are operable, and warning motorists that the lanes are camera-enforced, as the existing bus lane corridors have. NYCDOT will issue warnings to motorists for the first 60 days, in accordance with State law, to ensure drivers are informed about the program before any fines are levied. 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.