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New York MTA Approves Expansion of Bus-Mounted Camera Tech

On Monday, the MTA announced that it will expand the use of high-tech automated mobile cameras installed on buses to capture real-time bus lane violations along its routes in an effort to speed up service.

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(TNS) — There are speed cameras along the roads, red light cameras at the intersections, and soon, even some of Staten Island's buses will be issuing tickets.

On Monday, the MTA announced that it will expand the use of high-tech automated mobile cameras installed on buses to capture real-time bus lane violations along its routes in an effort to speed up service.

The Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) cameras were first installed on 123 buses across seven routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn as a pilot program to assess the effectiveness of the automated enforcement system, as well as its effects on travel times and bus speeds.

"Improving the bus network must be at the top of the MTA agenda," said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. "We have made tremendous progress over the last few years with new strategies designed to speed up our buses, and now we are doubling down by using technology to clear out bus lanes so MTA buses can keep moving."

The cameras will be added to an additional 300 buses across nine routes in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn by the end of the year, at which point the cameras will cover roughly half of all New York City bus lane miles.

On Staten Island, the cameras will be installed on the S79 SBS, a select bus service route that travels from the Staten Island Mall in New Springville to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with the majority of the trip occurring along Hylan Boulevard, where the street's bus lane was extended roughly two years ago.

In October 2020, the city completed a Hylan Boulevard bus lane extension, spanning 1.4 miles southbound, from Lincoln Avenue to Guyon Avenue, and 3.3 miles northbound, from Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue.

The ABLE cameras will also be installed on all buses serving the Bx12 SBS, Bx41 SBS, Bx19, Q43, B62, B25 and B42 routes.

The cameras capture license plate information, photos and videos, along with location and timestamp information, which are sent to the Department of Transportation for review and processing, with fines being issued by the Department of Finance.

During their first 60 days of operation, the cameras will issue warnings to bus lane blockers to alert them of the program before any fines are assessed.

However, once the initial grace period has ended, the cameras will issue fines starting at $50, escalating up to $250 for repeat offenders.

The MTA is planning to expand the program even further in the coming year, adding the cameras to an additional 600 buses by the end of 2023, at which point the ABLE cameras will cover roughly 85% of all city bus lanes.

"Increasing bus speeds is a win for all New Yorkers, and bus lane cameras are an incredibly effective tool to keep lanes clear and change driver behavior," said New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro.

"We hear from our customers and Bus Operators all the time that buses get stuck in traffic due to vehicles blocking our lanes. So, if you're a motorist, consider this your warning: bus lanes are for buses. Avoiding a ticket is easy, just stay out of the bus lane," he added.

©2022 Staten Island Advance, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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