Bus-mounted lane enforcement cameras coming to Brooklyn’s busiest route

The ABLE Camera Program has issued more than 9,700 violations across three bus routes where cameras deployed, improving commutes for the more than 100,000 daily riders.

The bus-mounted cameras on the B46 Select Bus Service (SBS) route will begin enforcement on dedicated bus lanes Feb. 20, according to an announcement from Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT).

The cameras are expected to help speed up rides for a total of 35,000 daily weekday customers on the route, which travels Malcolm X Blvd and Utica Ave in Brooklyn, according to NYCT.

The MTA began enforcement with camera systems on the M15, B44 and M14 SBS fleets last year to enhance the city’s traffic initiative to clear bus lanes, speed up rides and prioritize transit on high-volume corridors. 

“We recognize our current and potential customers desire to speed up the bus system, and continue to use the lessons learned from the M14 busway, namely well-enforced bus priority, as the key to achieving a world-class bus system that customers choose as their preferred transportation. The ABLE system truly makes bus lanes for buses,” said Craig Cipriano, acting MTA Bus Company president and senior vice president for buses.

NYCT is using an Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) system on all B46 SBS buses serving Brooklyn’s busiest bus route, which travels on approximately eight miles of dedicated bus lanes implemented by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). The B46 bus route, which runs along Broadway, Malcolm X Blvd, Utica Ave, and Flatbush Ave and connects to five subway lines and 30 bus routes, will benefit from faster travel times when these dedicated lanes remain clear of traffic.

ABLE camera systems capture evidence such as license plate information, photos, and videos, as well as location and timestamp information, of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document bus lane violations. The system collects multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed. The package of evidence is transmitted to NYCDOT for quality-control review and processing, and the program is administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the NYC Department of Finance. The 2020-2024 Capital Plan includes $85 million for further expansion of the program.

Motorists who remain in a bus lane without exiting at the first possible right turn or are captured as blocking the bus lane by two successive buses, are considered violating traffic laws and will be ticketed. During the initial 60-day grace period, motorists who block bus lanes are issued a warning that does not carry a fine. At the end of this grace period, motorists who continue to block bus lanes will be subject to a fine of $50 for the first violation, and for additional violations within a 12-month period: $100 for a second offense, $150 for a third offense, $200 for a fourth offense; and $250 for a fifth violation and each subsequent offense thereafter within a 12-month period.

NYCT is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to increase bus lane enforcement in highly congested areas as part of NYCT’s Fast Forward plan to improve bus service, increase bus speeds and attract new ridership. Other strategies include redesigning every borough’s bus network to better meet customer needs, installing traffic signal priority technology, implementing more transit priority street designs and deploying new modern buses with better reliability and customer amenities.

(NYCT)

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