Camera Enforcement Of Bus Lanes Along 1<Sup>st</Sup> &2<Sup>nd</Sup> Avenues Now Underway
A month after launching Select Bus Service (SBS) on the M15, service continues to improve, and bus lane camera enforcement along First and Second Avenues is now underway.
Five cameras have been installed along First and Second Avenues, with more locations to be activated in the coming months. In addition to First and Second Avenues, cameras will be installed in 2011 on 34th Street in Manhattan and Fordham Road in the Bronx.
"The City's 2.8 million bus riders have been held hostage for far too long by motorists who routinely block bus lanes, and these cameras will send a clear message that bus lanes are for buses only," MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder said. "We have already been able to speed up travel times along First and Second Avenues by more than 15 minutes and these cameras will help to further improve service."
The State Legislature authorized camera enforcement this year along Select Bus Service routes. Under the City traffic code, vehicles are permitted to enter a bus lane only to make the next available right turn or to expeditiously discharge or pick up passengers.
Bus lane camera footage will be viewed by the NYC Department of Transportation, which will issue a $115 summons for vehicles improperly traveling or blocking bus lanes. Summonses will be adjudicated by the NYC Department of Finance.
SBS has the potential for a significant reduction in travel times. Off board fare collection, low-floor high capacity buses and dedicated bus lanes combined with bus stops situated approximately one-half mile apart all contribute to speedier buses. To help eliminate long gaps between buses, NYC Transit has added four more buses to the weekday schedule and additional supervision has been assigned to key points along the route to regulate service. Also, responding to riders' requests, customers purchasing their fares for SBS can use their receipts to board M15 locals, should one arrive first.
Further service improvements are expected with the use of cameras aboard buses, and traffic signal priority, which should be in place by the middle of next year.