Brooklyn Boro

More enforcement cameras coming to Brooklyn bus lanes

June 21, 2019 Scott Enman
If MTA chooses to use 200 diesel buses to transport commuters during the L-train shutdown, it will create an estimated 14,351 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. AP Photo/Richard Drew
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The number of automated enforcement cameras catching motorists illegally driving in dedicated bus lanes is set to increase after the state legislature voted Thursday to remove previous limits on their use in New York City.

State law limited camera enforcement to just 16 routes across the city, but the new legislation allows for 24/7 enforcement wherever bus lanes are in effect.

Riders have long complained that without enforcement, buses get snarled in traffic, causing straphangers to endure longer commutes. New York City buses are the slowest in the United States, averaging only 8 miles per hour.

“I’m thrilled to know the MTA can now use automated cameras to enforce bus lanes citywide,” Riders Alliance member Debbie Baldwin said in a statement. “This will help millions of working-class bus riders get where they need to go on time. With full authorization to enforce bus lanes, the city now needs to follow through and paint more bus lanes and give riders priority on our streets.”

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The legislation also increases the penalty for repeat offenders, stepping up the fines for each violation within a 12-month period. A first offense is $50, while the second is $100. They continue to increase by $50 per offense, up to $250. Revenue from that enforcement will go toward the New York City Transportation Assistance Fund.

Assemblymember Nily Rozic and State Sen. Liz Krueger sponsored standalone bills in their respective houses, though it was ultimately passed as part of a larger legislative package at the end of session.

“Public transit is the lifeblood of NYC and the entire region,” Krueger wrote on Twitter following the bill’s passage in the Senate. “Buses are integral to that system. But w/out camera enforcement, dedicated bus lanes are just so many painted lines. Albany shouldn’t prevent NYC from deploying the tools to improve bus service and reduce congestion.”

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