MTA Press Releases

Press Release
January 20, 2020
IMMEDIATE
Bus Lane ViolationFines Coming to 14th Street as New Data Shows Sustained Performance & Ridership Improvements Since Launch of 'Busway' & Bus-Mounted Camera Enforcement
M14 Ridership Increases up 19 Percent on Weekdays and Up To 25% During the AM Peak; Bus Travel Times Drop by 36 Percent; Continued Ridership Increases Show Customer Preference to M14 Bus During Peak Travel Hours
 
New Bus Lane Enforcement Camera Initiative on 14th Street Builds on Success of New Transit & Truck Priority Lanes; M14 Bus-Mounted Camera Program to Issue Bus Lane Violations Beginning January 21
 
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that starting at 6 a.m. on January 21, bus lane violations will be issued through the MTA’s new bus-mounted camera system installed on the M14 Select Bus Service fleet to enhance traffic enforcement on the 14th Street Truck & Transit Priority lanes. New MTA data also show the M14 service continues to improve thanks to the myriad improvements such as implementation of transit priority, leading to sustained increases in ridership up to 19 percent on weekdays and decreases in bus travel times by 38 percent.
 
“Our vision is to make the NYC bus system the surface transportation mode of choice for all New Yorkers. We are using innovation and working closely with our partners at NYC DOT and NYPD to ensure transit priority that puts buses first. We know it’s working because buses are faster and more customers come back to the bus system where these improvements have been implemented,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting MTA Bus Company President and Senior Vice President for Buses of NYC Transit. “We are changing everything that New Yorkers thought they knew about our buses, from new zero emission all-electric buses to more customer amenities and better service.”
 
MTA NYC Transit implemented forward-facing camera systems on M14A/D SBS buses on Nov. 21, 2019, the start of a 60-day warning period during which motorists were not issued fines for standing or parking on 2½ miles of bus lanes on 14th Street. The cameras complement city Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) stationary cameras on the street that capture vehicles violating traffic laws for the 14th Street Transit Priority lanes.
 
With the end of the M14 camera program’s warning period, motorists who block bus lanes on 14th Street are 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. The graduated fine structure applies to the type of violation and is not specific to the bus route, therefore a motorist that is ticketed for blocking a bus lane on 14th Street and subsequently is caught blocking a bus lane on the other two routes where the bus-mounted cameras are deployed – the M15 and B44 SBS routes -- will be subject to a fine associated with the total number of offenses within a 12-month period.
 
The MTA’s bus-mounted camera system, known as ABLE or Automated Bus Lane Enforcement, captures evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, and 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 NYC DOT for review and processing, and the program is administered in partnership with NYC DOT and the NYC Department of Finance.
 
On 14th Street, bus lane enforcement is in effect from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, during which only buses, trucks, paratransit vehicles and emergency services may make through trips on 14th Street between Third and Eighth avenues. All other vehicles must turn at the next available right. The MTA’s bus-mounted cameras enforce traffic laws prohibiting parking, loading or standing in the 14th Street bus lanes, while NYC DOT’s street cameras capture motorists who remain in a bus lane without exiting at the first possible right turn.
 
The ABLE system uses evidence such as license plate information, photos and videos, and location and timestamp information of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document bus lane violations. The system relies upon multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed. The package of evidence is transmitted to NYC DOT for review and processing, and the program is administered in partnership with NYC DOT and the NYC Department of Finance.
 
Overall, the ABLE camera program has issued more than 9,100 warnings and actual violations across all three bus routes where the cameras are deployed. A breakdown is below:
 
  M15 SBS B44 SBS M14 SBS*
Date of implementation; Start date of violations
Oct. 7, 2019;
Dec. 6, 2019
Oct. 30, 2019;
Dec. 29, 2019
Nov. 21, 2019;
Jan. 20, 2020
Number of warnings and actual violations issued from implementation to Dec. 31, 2019 6,910 2,090 110
Bus speeds (December 2018 vs. December 2019) 1.5 percent increase to 7.3 mph 2.8 percent increase to 7.3 mph 55% percent increase to 5.8 mph
* Speeds are for the corridor between 3rd Avenue and 8th Avenue.
 
MTA NYC Transit plans to have the system deployed on 1,000 buses in every borough in the next two years.  The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan includes $85 million for the program. The lessons learned in the rollout on the first three bus routes are being incorporated into a spring 2020 procurement for the next generation of ABLE camera systems for MTA use.
 
NYC Transit is working with NYC DOT and NYPD to increase bus lane enforcement in highly congested areas as part of NYC Transit’s Fast Forward plan to improve bus service, increase bus speeds and attract new ridership. Enforced bus lanes have helped to increase bus speeds by as much as 36 percent on segments of First and Second avenues, 17 percent on 96th Street, 16 percent on a portion of Avenue J in Brooklyn, and as much as 37 percent near the Manhattan approach of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. To heighten awareness and change motorist behavior, NYC Transit has launched a campaign targeted to motorists featuring posters noting “Are you a bus? Bus lanes are for buses.” The awareness campaign, which is posted on the backs of buses installed with the ABLE system, will continue throughout 2020 as NYC Transit expands the camera program to more routes using NYC DOT-implemented bus lanes. NYC Transit is working with the NYC DOT to implement transit priority across the city, including the recently announced City commitment to 50 miles of protected bus lanes annually for the next five years.
 
Other Fast Forward strategies to improve bus service 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. NYC Transit recently released the draft plan of the Queens bus network redesign, announced a public hearing on the final plan for the Bronx redesign, and launched the redesign of the Brooklyn network. The redesign of the Staten Island express bus network has so far increased speeds, reduced customer travel times, simplified routes and attracted customers back to buses.
 
ABOUT M14 SELECT BUS SERVICE:
  • Select Bus Service launched on the M14A/D route on July 1, 2019, benefitting more than 32,000 customers daily between 14th Street and the Lower East Side. SBS features on the route include all-door boarding, off-board fare collection, bus boarding platforms, balanced bus stop spacing and transit priority. NYC DOT implemented its 14th Street Truck & Transit Priority Lanes on October 3, 2019.
  • Comparing December 2018 to December 2019, preliminary data shows M14 ridership increased by nearly 19 percent on weekdays, 44 percent on Saturdays and 51 percent on Sundays. Data continues to show that crosstown customers are opting to take the M14 bus over the nearby L train even when subway service is not affected by L Project work, with ridership increases during the morning peak (+25 percent), midday (+20 percent) and afternoon peak hours (+14 percent) comparing December 2018 to December 2019.
  • M14 travel times have decreased 36 percent, from nearly 15 minutes to 9.5 minutes, comparing December 2018 to December 2019.
  • MTA has also put into service its new fleet of articulated zero-emissions electric buses on the M14 route, helping to alleviate pollution.
  • An update on average M14 running times in the Transit Priority zone is available below:
 
2018
November
December
6 a.m. – 7 p.m., both directions
16.5 minutes
16.8 minutes
2019
November
December
6 a.m. – 7 p.m., both directions
10.3 minutes
(38 percent decrease)
10.4 minutes
(38 percent decrease)
 
  • An update on M14 ridership is below:
 
2018: Weekday Saturday Sunday
December 24,812 17,001 13,114
2019:
July (SBS launch) 26,692 21,278 17,837
October (TPL launch) 31,615 25,749 19,333
December 29,498 24,545 19,865