Drivers are advised to avoid blocking or double parking in...

Drivers are advised to avoid blocking or double parking in New York City bus lanes or face a fine or a warning, according to the MTA. Credit: Charles Eckert

Drivers on New York City streets must either avoid blocking public bus routes or risk being photographed by cameras on more than 600 city buses, with warnings or fines to follow.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday that the bus cameras will issue violations for vehicles that are blocking or double-parked in bus lanes in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Violators will be issued a warning letter for the first 60 days by the city Department of Transportation. The Automated Enforcement Cameras, or ACE, are on city buses operating on 14 routes, officials said

The city previously announced that more than 400 buses in the five boroughs were already using the existing automated bus lane enforcement for private vehicles driving on bus routes.

City officials will continue to issue tickets for bus lane violations, and each corridor will have signage indicating camera enforcement during certain hours on routes.

“Keeping bus stops clear is critical to ensuring all of our customers can safely get on and off the bus,” MTA chief accessibility officer Quemuel Arroyo said in a statement. “I know firsthand the frustrating experience of having a vehicle block the bus stop and forcing me to wait for the next one. I am thrilled to be turning on ACE today and look forward to clearer bus stops and faster trips.”

Transportation officials said cameras can help increase bus lane speeds by 5% and reduce crashes by 20%. MTA officials also credited bus cameras with reducing emissions by up to 10%.

Officials said bus lane fines also reduce future violations, with reoffenders committing violations only about 9% of the time. The cameras are aimed at improving bus efficiency and allow buses to make stops, allowing commuters to enter and exit buses safely, including using wheelchairs and strollers.

Once violations are captured, license plate information, location and time stamp information are reviewed by transportation officials.

The city has issued 438,660 notices of violations since 2019. Officials estimate about 1,023 buses will be equipped with cameras across 33 routes by the end of the year.

“Bus riders deserve to get where they’re going efficiently, safely, and as quickly as possible,” said Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. “Unfortunately, double-parked cars and trucks and vehicles blocking bus lanes and bus stops slow travel to a crawl and make it dangerous to get on and off-board.”

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