MTA advises Q44 SBS bus lane enforcement warning period ends Friday

The MTA is warning motorists that the Q44 SBS bus lane enforcement period ends Dec. 2 and violators will be issued summonses. (Photo courtesy of NYC DOT)

The MTA announced Monday that drivers who violate the Q44 SBS bus lane regulations will be issued summonses beginning Friday, Dec. 2.

Since the activation of the Q44 SBS’s automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras on Oct. 3, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has been issuing warning notices to violators who block the bus lane. The warning period served as an opportunity to educate and remind drivers of bus lane regulations, a critical component of keeping buses moving and improving speeds.

“As more and more bus lanes and busways are camera-enforced, we hope that drivers begin to change their way of thinking and avoid blocking a bus lane,” MTA Chair and CEO Janni Lieber said. “New Yorkers need drivers to comply with bus lane rules regardless of whether they are camera-enforced, so err on the side of caution and avoid a ticket.”

The Q44 SBS, which connects Main Street Flushing and Merrick Boulevard/Archer Avenue in Jamaica, is among the busiest routes in the MTA bus network. Between Oct. 3 and Wednesday, Nov. 23, 3,225 warning notices were issued on the Q44 SBS bus lane.

“Providing a dedicated space for buses to run is a critical step in improving bus speeds along some of the busiest corridors,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said. “Enforcing the rules is the other. These bus-mounted cameras automate the summons issuing process at a much more efficient rate, reaching more motorists, and ultimately educating more drivers to abide by bus lane rules.”

(Photo courtesy of NYC DOT)

ABLE cameras are an essential tool to keep bus lanes clear of vehicles and buses on schedule for more consistent and reliable service. Based on previous data collected, less than 8% of motorists receive more than two summonses for violating the rules of a bus lane. The MTA says that is indicative of ABLE camera’s effectiveness in influencing driver behavior.”

“Dedicated bus lanes are important tools for improving the speed and reliability of bus service, but they work only if other drivers obey the law and stay out of these lanes,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “The deployment of ABLE cameras will help ensure bus lane regulations are obeyed and that bus riders enjoy fast and smooth service. I encourage all motorists to respect the bus lanes so that all who use our roadways can get to our destinations quickly and safely.”

By the end of the year, bus enforcement technology will be expanded to all boroughs and cover approximately 50% of bus lane miles across the city.

“Ultimately, this action was primarily established to prevent vehicles from impeding the busway lanes and for buses to run in a timely manner,” Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman said. “I stand behind this warning one hundred percent because passengers want to reach their destinations safely and on time. Bus drivers must also be able to operate their buses without any hindrances due to vehicles driving in the bus lane or double parking. With the installation of ABLE cameras, the necessary penalties will be enforced if drivers fail to acknowledge the initiatives that are in place, as well as the safety of pedestrians and their fellow drivers.”

Elsewhere, the Q43 and Bx19 activated their cameras on Monday, beginning their 60-day warning period.

“Bus lanes are for buses, period. Automated camera enforcement is a critical tool in keeping our bus lanes clear, providing faster and more reliable commutes for New Yorkers,” NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said. “As the agency that created, revitalized, and made permanent the Main Street Busway in support of bus riders on the Q44 SBS and other routes in Downtown Flushing, DOT is thrilled to support the MTA’s continued expansion of bus-mounted cameras as part of our close collaboration to improve bus service across the city.”