The city will activate its bus lane cameras along the Merrick Boulevard bus lane and begin issuing violations on Monday, Nov. 22.
After conducting a review of the 24/7 Merrick Boulevard bus lane hours, the Department of Transportation in September adjusted its regulations to weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. based on feedback from the project’s Community Advisory Board, southeast Queens elected officials and local residents.
The DOT informed the elected officials and other stakeholders that the bus lane cameras will be active from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Merrick Boulevard corridor, between Hillside Avenue and Springfield Boulevard, now has signage indicating that the bus lanes are camera-enforced. To ensure that drivers were informed about the program, DOT began issuing warnings to motorists for a period of 60 days before beginning to issue violations, per State law.
Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses, according to the DOT.
A single violation will cost $50. Under a state law passed in 2019, fines increase for bus lane violations incurred in a single year to as much as $250 for a fifth offense.
“Our message is clear, if you block a bus lane, not only are you slowing down the commutes of 94,000 bus riders, but you’ll be getting fined as well,” DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman said. “Be a good neighbor and stay out of the bus lanes.”
With the activation of the bus lane cameras, Merrick Boulevard, with its Q4, Q5, Q84, N4 and N4X bus routes, becomes the 30th bus lane corridor in the city with automated enforcement, keeping them clear for buses and reducing commute times for hundreds of thousands of daily bus riders, according to the DOT.