Motorists in southeast Queens have been warned: The city Department of Transportation announced that it has begun issuing bus lane camera violations along the Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue busways on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
Together, the new busways serve roughly 250,000 daily raiders across 26 bus routes. The initiative marks the most substantial transit improvement to southeast Queens since the 1988 subway extension, according to the DOT.
“These busways have brought historic improvements for Queens commuters,” DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman said. “Our message is clear: If you block a bus lane, not only are you slowing down the commutes of a quarter-million bus riders, but you’ll be getting fined as well.”
Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses. A single isolation will cost $50. Under a state law passed in 2019, bus line violation fines have increased to as much as $250 for a fifth fine incurred in a single year.
The corridors now have signage indicating that the bus lanes are camera-enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To ensure that drivers were informed about the program, the DOT began warning motorists of automated enforcement on Oct. 29, per the 60-day warning period mandated by state law.
“Be a good neighbor and stay out of the bus lanes,” Gutman said.
Due to state legislation passed in 2019, the city is allowed to expand the bus lane camera program as needed. The program was previously limited to only 16 routes but is now operating along 33 corridors across the five boroughs, keeping them clear for buses and reducing commuter times for hundreds of thousands of bus riders daily.