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Sunday, July 14, 2024

MTA Announces Bus Lane Camera Enforcement Expanded to Include New Violations

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(AP/VIN) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the activation of Automated Camera Enforcement (ACE) on 14 bus routes across Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Formerly known as Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE), the ACE program captures vehicles violating bus lane, double parking, and bus stop rules in real-time. The ACE program expands on ABLE cameras, now issuing violations for vehicles double parked or illegally parked at bus stops in addition to bus lane violations.

When enforcement cameras are activated, on average, routes see bus lane speeds increased by 5%, a 20% reduction in collisions, and a 5% to 10% estimated reduction in emissions. Only 9% of drivers commit another bus lane violation after being fined. All 623 buses on the 14 routes that are currently enabled with lane enforcement technology have now been updated with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence-based enforcement technology that will allow for expanded enforcement at bus stops and double-parked locations.

Enforcing vehicles parked in bus stops helps ensure buses can pull to the curb, allowing all customers to safely exit and board the bus including those using wheelchairs or mobility devices, and those pushing strollers or carts. ACE builds on the many accessibility improvements New York City Transit has made to its bus fleet since becoming the first large public transit agency to have a 100% wheelchair accessible fleet in 1993.

“ACE is key to getting buses running faster and safer for the riders who rely on them to get where they need to go,” said New York City Transit Interim President Demetrius Crichlow. “I’m grateful for the dedicated efforts from our partners at the New York City DOT to work with us to get this done.”

“Keeping bus stops clear is critical to ensuring all of our customers can safely get on and off the bus,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “I know firsthand the frustrating experience of having a vehicle block the bus stop and forcing me to wait for the next one. I am thrilled to be turning on ACE today and look forward to clearer bus stops and faster trips.”

“It’s pretty hot out here but for the people blocking our bus lanes, it’s about to get hotter,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro. “Automated camera enforcement—which expands our enforcement authority from bus lanes to include bus stops and double-parking violations—is a real game changer.”
“New Yorkers deserve buses that can keep up with hustle and bustle that makes New York City great,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez. “We know automated enforcement changes driver behavior, with more than 80% of bus lane blockers never receiving more than one ticket. This expanded authority will pave the way for faster, safer, and more reliable bus routes across the five boroughs, which will reduce congestion and support our economy.”

Bus routes now enforced with ACE cameras:
•    B44 SBS
•    B46 SBS
•    Bx12 SBS
•    Bx19
•    B62
•    Bx41 SBS
•    Bx36
•    M14 SBS
•    M15 SBS
•    M23 SBS
•    M34 SBS
•    Q44 SBS
•    Q54
•    Q58
The ACE program is administered in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and the New York City Department of Finance (DOF). Once captured by the cameras, license plate, location and time stamp information is then transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing. Since 2019, NYCDOT has issued of 438,660 notices of violations. By the end of 2024, there will be 1,023 ACE equipped buses across 33 routes.
“Keeping our bus lanes and roadways clear will significantly improve bus reliability,” said State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “By holding bad actors accountable, the MTA will be able to deliver the service New Yorkers need and keep our roads safer for all.”

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community and our transit system. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) introduction of automated enforcement (ACE) cameras across 14 bus routes, including one right here in my district, demonstrates a commitment to safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship,” said State Senator Robert Jackson. “With these advancements, they  are not just moving buses faster and reducing collisions; but also fostering a cleaner, more reliable transportation network. This initiative exemplifies how innovation and accountability can transform urban mobility, ensuring that our streets are safer and our air is cleaner.”

“New Yorkers rely on MTA buses to get around the city but too often illegally or double-parked cars are in the way, slowing everyone’s commute to a crawl,” said Assembly Member Emily Gallagher. “That’s why I am thrilled that the MTA is activating Automated Camera Enforcement (ACE) on 14 new routes, including the B62 that serves Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This is a smart enforcement strategy that can help get things moving. Don’t block our buses!”

“Bus lanes make our buses faster, but double parking slows them down,” said Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani. “I fought for an expanded automated bus lane enforcement program last year to ensure a right-of-way for buses, and better bus service for millions of New Yorkers. We deserve a world class public transit system, and the implementation of ACE brings us one step closer to that by improving the reliability of our buses and decreasing congestion. This program is already hugely successful and I am thrilled to see its expansion in effect this summer.”
“This new phase of the Automated Camera Enforcement program is a critical step toward making our buses move faster for everyone,” said Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman. “By expanding enforcement to include double parking and bus stop violations, we are not only improving bus lane speeds and reducing collisions but also cutting down on harmful emissions.”

“We are a non-stop city; cars stopped, parked or double-parked in our bus lanes means backed-up traffic and clogged curbs, keeping bus riders from getting where they need to go: to work, to pick up their kids, and a thousand other time-sensitive things,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “These cameras will help us get blockers out of our bus lanes and keep our buses and their riders moving.”

“Automated bus lane enforcement cameras are a critical tool to help us improve bus speeds,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler. “I’m excited to see enforcement expanded to new routes, especially the B62 route that serves as a key connection between Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Downtown Brooklyn and the B44, which runs through the heart of Bed-Stuy.”

“For those of us who travel via main thoroughfares in the Bronx notorious for congestion, having dedicated bus lanes makes the commute so much more efficient and environmentally sound, but not without proper enforcement to ensure that the lanes are being used by the appropriate vehicles,” said Bronx Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Sorin. “We want our commuters to get to their jobs on time, and for shoppers visiting our commercial corridors to be able to reach their destinations smoothly as well. I’m glad that several Bronx routes will be the first where ACE is implemented – it just makes sense across the board.”

“Automated camera enforcement shows bus riders the respect we deserve,” said Riders Alliance Senior Organizer Jolyse Race. “Drivers who double park and block bus stops rob riders of countless hours, especially in Manhattan, home to the city’s slowest buses. Slow bus service wastes $300 million dollars each year, raising the cost of living in New York City, which bus riders struggle to afford.”

“Bus riders deserve to get where they’re going efficiently, safely, and as quickly as possible,” said Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) Executive Director Lisa Daglian. “Unfortunately, double parked cars and trucks and vehicles blocking bus lanes and bus stops slow travel to a crawl and make it dangerous to get on- and off-board. The fines under ABLE have proven highly effective at reminding drivers that if they aren’t a bus they should stay out of bus lanes. ACE kicks it up a notch to let more illegal parkers know there is a price to pay for holding up traffic. With congestion pricing paused and our buses the slowest in America, the message is more important than ever: If you’re not a bus, stay out of the bus lane — and bus stop — and don’t double park, or you will be found, and fined!”

“Keeping bus lanes free and clear is essential for ensuring that riders can get to where they need to go quickly and reliably,” said Renae Reynolds, Executive Director at Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “With the activation of Automated Camera Enforcement on these 14 routes, the MTA is taking significant strides towards reducing delays and improving the overall experience for bus riders. This initiative is crucial for creating a more accessible and sustainable transit system for all New Yorkers.”

Upon ACE implementation, NYCDOT will issue warning notices to drivers for the first 60 days, in accordance with State law, before issuance of double parking and bus stop fines commence.  For routes with existing ABLE camera enforcement, the 60-day warning period will apply to bus stop and double-parking violations only. Tickets will continue to be issued for bus lane violations during this time. Each corridor with active ACE camera enforcement also has signage indicating that these routes are camera enforced and the hours of enforcement.

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