MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 26, 2019
MTA to Install High-Tech Camera Systems on Buses for Bus Lane Traffic Enforcement

Automated Enforcement System Enhances NYC Transit’s Efforts to Increase Bus Speeds;

 Bus Lane Enforcement is Part of Multi-Faceted Approach by MTA and City of New York to Clear Congested Streets, Encourage Public Transit Use


MTA New York City Transit announced plans to purchase an automated mobile camera system on buses to capture real-time bus lane violations as the agency and New York City’s Department of Transportation step up combined enforcement efforts to increase bus speeds and keep traffic moving on congested city streets.  

“This advanced automated camera technology will make a real difference toward clearing the way for our buses as they navigate some of the most congested roadways in the nation,” said Darryl Irick, MTA Bus Company President and NYC Transit Senior Vice President of Buses. “Together with our City partners, we are prioritizing public transit on city streets so that our buses and our customers spend less time sitting in traffic. We look forward to putting these cameras on the road and dedicating additional capital funds from congestion pricing and other means so we can expand the program even further.”

“We are excited that the MTA is undertaking this critical effort to help keep bus lanes clear,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who is also an MTA Board member. “Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to speed buses by 25 percent over the next two years, and automated enforcement – where we hope to see every bus on every route equipped -- will be one more step to reach that ambitious goal.”

As part of NYC Transit’s plans to modernize the bus fleet and speed up bus rides, NYC Transit will install an Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) system on 123 buses serving some Select Bus Service routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ABLE system will be used for a pilot program to evaluate the efficacy of automated enforcement of bus lanes and its effect on bus speeds and travel times. The pilot is a result of a successful NYC Transit proof-of-concept test that determined an ABLE system could capture sufficient evidence to enforce bus lane traffic violations, and the pilot results will inform NYC Transit’s plans to expand the program.

The ABLE system captures the license plate information, photos and videos, as well location and timestamp information, of vehicles obstructing bus lanes to document clear cases of bus lane violation. The system collects multiple pieces of evidence to ensure that vehicles making permitted turns from bus lanes are not ticketed. This information is transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing. The automated bus lane enforcement program will be administered in partnership with NYCDOT and NYC Department of Finance.

NYC Transit is committed to improving bus service throughout New York City, and our plan lays out a foundation for a thorough, multi-pronged approach to improve reliability, modernize the fleet and attract more customers. NYC Transit is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to increase bus lane enforcement in highly congested areas, with results so far yielding faster bus speeds by as much as 17 percent on a portion of Fifth Avenue and 30 percent near the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel’s Manhattan approach. Other strategies include redesigning the entire bus network borough by borough to better meet customer needs, installing traffic signal priority technology, implementing enhanced street designs such as bus lanes and boarding areas for faster bus pull-outs, and deploying new modern buses with better reliability and customer amenities.

The $6.2 million contract was awarded to Siemens Mobility Inc. and includes the purchase, installation and warranty of these high-tech cameras and supporting computer systems. They will be installed on new buses that will be delivered from 2019 to early 2020.