New York City has been cracking down on drivers blocking bus lanes, with nearly a million tickets being issued over the past three years. City stats show the number of tickets has risen steadily since the agency began using bus lane cameras in 2010, along with more automated surveillance that has been rolled out.
Bus lane fines start at $50 and go up by $50 for each new offense, with $250 the maximum penalty within a 12-month period.
Despite a public outcry to ease up on bus lane ticketing, MTA officials point to data showing bus speeds increased on routes with bus lanes or busways and decreased everywhere else.
Tickets issued by “fixed location” cameras increased to over 382,000 in 2021 (Jan. 1 to Nov. 4, 2021), from roughly 356,000 the previous year and 263,000 in 2019. Additionally, New York’s state Legislature approved the use of bus-mounted cameras for bus lane enforcement two years ago, allowing the MTA to slap cameras on First Avenue, Second Avenue, 86th Street, 34th Street and 14th Street in Manhattan and on Nostrand and Utica avenues in Brooklyn. Those cameras issued 108,746 tickets from October 2019 through this September, the MTA said.
The DOT has 379 bus lane cameras at 192 locations – and the agency plans to add more, according to spokesman Seth Stein, who added that DOT and MTA data show eight out of 10 drivers do not commit a second bus lane violation after they receive their first ticket. For bus-mounted cameras, that number is 87%, Stein said.
Tickets snapped by bus-mounted cameras are paid to the MTA while fines from the Department of Transportation’s “fixed location” cameras go to city coffers.
Source: New York Post