Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

Installation Expands Bus Enforcement Technology to All Boroughs

ABLE Cameras Activated on Q44 Select Bus Service Today

NYCDOT to Issue Warning Notices to Violators for First 60 Days of Implementation

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced an additional 300 buses across nine routes in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn will have automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras by the end of the year to capture drivers violating busway and bus lane rules in real-time. The first ABLE cameras from this latest deployment will be rolled out today on the Q44 Select Bus Service (SBS) route. ABLE cameras are an essential tool to keep bus lanes clear of vehicles and buses on schedule for more consistent and reliable service. 

Currently, there are 123 buses equipped with ABLE cameras on seven routes across Brooklyn and Manhattan. The latest installment of cameras will expand the bus enforcement technology 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. To reach that goal, the MTA plans to add 600 new cameras 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. 

“Improving the bus network must be at the top of the MTA agenda,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “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.” 

“We have seen how effective ABLE cameras are on the existing bus lanes,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Based on our recent customer survey, wait time and service reliability are two very important factors for our customers. Bus service delivery has been above 95% for the past 3 months. With the installation of these ABLE cameras, customers who travel on these routes can look forward to a faster commute.” 

“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,” said New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro. “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.” 

The remaining routes will be rolled out as follows: S79 SBS, Bx12 SBS, Bx41 SBS, Bx19, Q43, B62, B25, and B42. Locations were determined to maximize the length of bus lanes covered, balance distribution between boroughs, address some of the newer bus lanes, and incorporate input from the MTA and NYCDOT on known locations with issues. 

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. 

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.