The warning period is over and starting today, December 30, those found blocking the B44 SBS Bus lane will get tickets with fines up to $250, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced. Tickets will be issued based on evidence collected by cameras mounted to the front of the buses serving along B44 SBS route that connects Sheepshead Bay with Williamsburg and travels along Nostrand Avenue southbound and Rogers Avenue northbound — all in all about 10 miles.
“Bus lanes have proven to improve bus speeds and traffic flow for everyone, and proper enforcement is helping to retain those gains and further improve service,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting MTA Bus Company President and Senior Vice President for Buses of NYC Transit. “Our message is loud and clear: Bus lanes are for buses.”
“The cameras now mounted on buses along the B44 SBS will help us achieve Mayor de Blasio’s Better Buses Action Plan to increase citywide bus speeds by 25 percent,” explained NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
NYC Transit is currently using the Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) system on buses serving the B44 SBS, M14 SBS and M15 SBS routes.
So how does it work?
- Drivers are allowed to enter the bus lane to make a right turn. Those who remain in a bus lane without exiting at the first possible right turn, will be ticketed.
- Drivers are also allowed to stop briefly in the bus lane to pick up or drop off. If, however, you are captured blocking the bus lane at the same location by two successive buses, you will get a ticket.
The cameras mounted on the buses capture license plate information, photos, and videos, as well as location and timestamp information of vehicles obstructing bus lanes. This information is then transmitted to NYC DOT for review and processing.
The ABLE system was deployed along the B44 SBS route on October 30th, and by December had captured approximately 7,000 potential bus blockers, MTA says. Starting today, however, here is what each violation will get you:
- a fine of $50 for the first violation.
- For additional violations within a 12-month period, fines are
- $100 for a second offense,
- $150 for a third offense,
- $200 for a fourth offense, and
- $250 for a fifth violation and each subsequent one within a 12-month period.