Third Activation of 2023, 19th Overall
NYCDOT to Issue Warning Notices to Violators for First 60 Days of Implementation
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the activation of automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras on the Q58 bus route in Queens, the second busiest bus route in the city last year. ABLE cameras capture drivers violating bus lane rules in real-time and is aimed at deterring motorists from blocking these lanes to improve bus service and reduce crashes. Average daily ridership on the Q58 is 28,700, as the route carried 6.7 million riders by the end of 2022.
“Bus-mounted cameras deliver faster and safer service,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “The more cameras we have, the more motorists become aware of bus lane rules and begin to comply with them. This enforcement is instrumental in getting drivers out of the way of buses and speeding up bus customers’ trips.”
“Buses are critical to connecting customers to their destination and to the rest of the transit system,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro. “Automated Bus Lane Enforcement cameras are an important tool to create safer roads, better bus service, and improved overall on-time performance. Implementing ABLE on the Q58 will benefit tens of thousands of riders on one of our most heavily used routes.”
Based on May 2023 data, the average speed on the Q58 is 7.6 mph, 10 percent slower than the average Queens Local or Limited route. ABLE enforced routes have seen improvement of speeds of approximately 5 percent, with an average 20 percent decrease in collisions, and most motorists who receive a notice or violation are unlikely to become repeat offenders. Based on previous data collected, only 7 percent of drivers receive more than two summonses for violating the rules of a bus lane. This is indicative of ABLE cameras’ effectiveness in influencing driver behavior.
Additionally, since implementation in October 2019, New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) has issued 269,000 violations. As the program expanded to more routes, 84,000 violations have been issued between January and May 2023, making up for about a third of the total in just five months. With the activation on this route, the MTA will have 555 buses equipped with ABLE cameras on 19 routes across Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. Locations were determined to maximize the length of bus lanes covered, balance distribution between boroughs, address some of the newer bus lanes, and incorporate input from the MTA and NYCDOT on known locations with issues.
Upon implementation of ABLE cameras on the Q58, NYCDOT will issue warning notices to motorists for the first 60 days, in accordance with State law, to ensure drivers are informed about the program before any fines are levied. Each bus lane corridor with ABLE camera coverage has signage indicating the hours that the bus lanes are operable and advises drivers that the lanes are camera-enforced. Drivers who violate these rules during enforcement periods are subject to a summons, with fines beginning at $50 and escalating, for repeat offenders, up to $250.
ABLE camera systems capture license plate information, photos and videos, together with location and timestamp information. This information is then transmitted to NYCDOT for review and processing. The program is administered in partnership with NYCDOT and the New York City Department of Finance.