September 21, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Significant Expansion of Bus Lane Enforcement Across New York City

Governor Hochul Announces Significant Expansion of Bus Lane Enforcement Across New York City

MTA Will Activate Enforcement Cameras Along the B26 in Northern Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens Next Week

Fourth Activation of ABLE Cameras in 2023 and 20th in Total Citywide, Total Number of ABLE Cameras Will Be 585

NYCDOT to Issue Warning Notices to Violators for First 60 Days of Implementation

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced significant progress made in the expansion of Automated Bus Lane Enforcement cameras across New York City bus routes. ABLE cameras capture drivers violating bus lane rules in real-time and are aimed at deterring motorists from blocking these lanes to improve bus service and reduce crashes. As part of the FY 2024 budget, the Governor successfully secured the expansion of the ABLE program, to include more traffic violations and protect New Yorkers. On Monday, Sept. 25, ABLE cameras will be activated on the B26 bus route serving riders in Brooklyn and Queens, marking the twentieth activation of ABLE cameras across the city’s bus system and the fourth this year. Average daily ridership on the B26 is 8,700, and the route carried 1.7 million riders by the end of 2022, a 12 percent increase from 2021.

Millions of New Yorkers rely on our buses every day, and they deserve to ride in bus lanes that are safe and efficient,” Governor Hochul said. “The continued expansion of ABLE will both protect riders and enable faster, more reliable service for New Yorkers to enjoy.”

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “Queens and Brooklyn drivers take note – if you invade our bus lanes, we will catch you on camera, and you will be ticketed. We thank the Governor and Legislature for funding the latest expansion of this technology in the 2023 State budget. It’s an important new tool as we work to speed our bus system city-wide.”

Based on August 2023 data, the average speed on the B26 is 6.7mph – 4 percent slower than the average Brooklyn local or limited route. Since the implementation of ABLE along several bus routes in Brooklyn, average bus speeds in the borough have seen increases of around five percent, and collisions with buses have decreased by nearly 20 percent, as most motorists who receive a notice or violation are unlikely to become repeat offenders. Based on previous data collected, of all the drivers that have received at least one ABLE violation, only 8 percent have received 3 or more. This is indicative of ABLE cameras’ effectiveness in influencing driver behavior. Citywide, ABLE cameras have led to over 313,000 violations being issued to motorists through the end of August.

With the activation on this route, the MTA will have 585 buses equipped with ABLE cameras on 20 routes across all five boroughs of New York City. Locations were determined to maximize the length of bus lanes covered, balance distribution between boroughs, address some newer bus lanes, and incorporate input from the MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) on known locations with issues.

Upon implementation of ABLE cameras on the B26, NYCDOT will issue warning notices to motorists for the first 60 days, in accordance with New York 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.

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said, “Automated bus lane enforcement has proven to change driver behavior and keep our bus lanes clear. These new bus-mounted cameras will help make commutes faster and more reliable for thousands of daily commuters on the B26. NYC DOT is proud to partner with MTA to support the continued expansion of the ABLE system on routes across the city.”

New York City Transit President Richard Davey said “As our network of ABLE cameras continues to expand, bus customers are benefiting from faster, more reliable, and safer service. Adding ABLE cameras to the B26 will keep the residents of Downtown Brooklyn, Bed-Stuy, Bushwick and Ridgewood moving, and keep motorists out of the bus lane.”

New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro, said, “Today we celebrate the 20th expansion of ABLE cameras in our bus system, getting us closer to our goal of system-wide camera-based enforcement. With this technology, thousands of riders will be able to get to their homes, places of work, and favorite spots in Northern Brooklyn and Ridgewood quicker and easier.”

State Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “Accurate enforcement is critical for improving bus service — and automating that enforcement has been shown time and time again to be the most successful path forward to speedier bus journeys. I'm excited to see the impact the implementation of the ABLE system will have on the lives of our community members who rely on the B26 daily, and I look forward to seeing this system rolled out city-wide.”

Councilmember Lincoln Restler said, “Keeping our bus lanes clear improves efficiency and makes it easier for New Yorkers to benefit from our mass transit. I'm excited to see automated bus lane enforcement technology be put to use in Downtown Brooklyn, where we're working hard to mitigate traffic and keep our streets safe.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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